Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pretzels Again - and the Coming Food Trend Is ...

Chef Manfred Stockner with Mangalitsa lardo
and whipped Mangalitsa lard.

I recently wrote about how to make authentic pretzels, and how I enjoyed them at Prime Meats, the restaurant that catered our New York debut.

Now Julia Moskin, of the New York Times, reports that decent pretzels are the new food in New York, and gives a recipe - which, like the one I provided - requires lye.

I know something about tasty Central European food. When I see it here in America, I really notice it.

In the spirit of Hans and Franz (two Austrians), hear me now, believe me later: in 2010, the mainstream press will talk about how wonderful Mangalitsa lardo is, because fancy restaurants across the USA will be making and serving it. To make it easier to write that food section article, which must include a recipe, here's one based on the Wiesners' (my favorite Austrian couple):
1) Buy blocks of neck fat or loin fat from Wooly Pigs, the USA's lard-type pork company.

2) Take blocks of Mangalitsa fat and pack them in coarse salt. Stick them in the fridge.

3) Wait until the fat is cured - a month or so.

4) Knock the salt off. Pack the fat in herbs and wrap it in plastic. Let it sit in the fridge for a month or two.

Slice thinly, parallel to the silverskin that divides the two layers of fat. Cut out the silverskin when you reach it.

How to eat:

Basically, lardo is like cheese. You may:
  • Slice and serve
  • Make sandwiches with the stuff.
  • Serve melted on toast, flatbread or pizza
  • Wrap meat in it for cooking.
  • Anything else that seems reasonable.

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