As a young child I would visit my family in Hungary. There were certain traditions that we brought back home to America and still practice today. Some of these traditions make more sense on a farm in rural Hungary but sometimes you gotta make due with whichever setting you’ve got. Plus some food traditions were just too delicious to leave back in the motherland. This pastime is best enjoyed in the countryside, camping or in your garden.
‘Szalona Sutes‘ or ‘Bacon Roasting‘ is a tradition that is best enjoyed with family and friends.
This is a Hungarian style BBQ! So instead of one person standing in front of a hot flame cooking, you’ve got several people sweating it out. This is really fun and builds a since of community.
Before the meal begins everyone enjoys a shot of Palinka (Hungarian brandy) to celebrate the gathering. Beers can also be consumed throughout the cookout. Highly recommended! After all, its a barbecue.
Here’s what you need:
A fire and heavy sharpened sticks (or a long metal skewer will do for all you fancies out there).
Fresh cut veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions and radishes.
Pork products such as pork belly or thick cut bacon (preferably with lots of fat), Hungarian smoked sausage and some nice smoked pork tenderloin.
Bread…preferably thick rustic french bread, shepherders bread or if you’re lucky then this delightful Hungarian style bread.
Put all your meats on the stick and it is rotated on the fire. You gotta keep spinning or your fat will burn. You want to make the bacon crispy not charred.
The key is to get the bacon drippings on your fresh bread and even let them drip on the veggies. You’ll notice the bacon and sausage drippings will activate the flames as it drips into the embers.
You cant rush the bacon. Give it some time. While you wait and continually spin you can snack on your greased bread.
After you see you’ve crisped your bacon you can start chopping the cooked bits off.
This is a great old-fashioned tradition that’s great fun with good people. There’s really nothing better than laughing at the one person that constantly keeps getting smoke in their eyes. Because we all know ‘smoke follows beauty’.
All photos are taken by me or my cousin Anita from Hungary.
The old timey photo courtesy of
I have a deep love of food illustrations and Hungarian food. Sometimes I wander into the scary world of the inter-webs looking for the perfect marriage of my two loves. Instagram led me to artist named Nick Hilditch. (On Instagram he goes by the name @pockless.)
He has a whimsical look at traditional Hungarian dishes. These drawings left me laughing, nostalgic and hungry. He traveled to Hungary in 1996, recorded his food travels not with photographs like most of us common fools, but with art.
I love these.
I love everything about these.
Well done Mr. Hilditch. I’d like to explore other parts of the world with you.