The Czech Republic is known for its rich culture and delicious cuisine, and one tradition that embodies both of these elements is the annual “zabijačka.”
This event, which typically takes place in the winter months, is a celebration of pork and community and is steeped in centuries of history and tradition.
The word zabijačka literally translates to “slaughter,” and the event is centered around the killing and processing of a pig.
Families and communities come together to participate in the process, from preparing and slaughtering the pig to making traditional Czech dishes such as blood sausages and smoked meats.
But zabijačka is not just about the food – it is also a time for socializing and building community.
Families and friends gather to share a meal and enjoy each other’s company, often accompanied by traditional music and dancing.
The event also serves as an opportunity for people to come together and help each other, whether it’s by lending a hand in the kitchen or sharing in the workload of the pig slaughter.
In addition to being a beloved tradition, zabijačka also has practical benefits.
By processing the pig all at once, families can stock up on meat for the winter months, ensuring that they have a steady supply of food.
The purpose of zabíjačka was to make use of the whole animal which means not only processing the meat but also the other parts.
Prdelačka: Although the name literally means “ass-soup” it has nothing to do with anyone’s bottom. It is a strong broth from various parts of the pig’s entrails mixed with blood and groat.
Jitrnice: a mixture of boiled meat parts of lower quality (head) stuffed into the pig intestine.
Jelito: a mixture of groats and blood in a pig intestine.
Prejt: the filling of jitrnice or jelito.
Tlačenka: a brawn or head cheese, basically meat jelly.
Bok: means “side” and it’s the belly which is one of the fattiest parts of the pig. You can often buy it smoked.
Škvarky: This delicacy is whats left after the fat layer has been fried to loose all fat, so simply pork scratchings.
Škvarková pomazánka: the spread made from pig scratchings made usually with mayonnaise, mustard and spices.