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Usual Hamming Around, Unusual Ham at This Year’s Pálinka and Kolbász Festival



So just a quick follow-up to my post last week urging everyone to attend the big Budavári Pálinka- és Kolbászfesztivál, which was, as I promised, exactly as a sausage and fruit brandy festival should be. But while there were some interesting new flavors of booze, the big surprise for me was a stand (above) dishing out tasting platters of ham and dried sausages made from Mangalica porkers raised out in Debrecen and then processed in Spain. Odder still was my discovery that Olmos és Tóth Kft., the Hungarian firm that produces the meat for export to Spain, doesn’t have a distributor in Budapest to sell it’s partner’s product. Globalization!


In some ways this isn’t so strange. After all, it’s not like you’d expect Audi to make a special effort to sell its cars assembled in Germany Hungary just because the engines are made in Győr. Meanwhile, such products are an edible reminder that Hungary still remains low on the “food chain” of Europe’s food-processing industry. Still, there’s something nice about eating a plate of delicious jamón or chorizo knowing that the raw material was Magyar.

The good news is that I just got off the phone with Culinaris jefe Zoltán Bogáthy, who said he is going to get on the phone with Olmos és Tóth and try to get some of these “Iberian-Hungarian” cuts into his stores. In the meantime, you can apparently order some up via the firm’s website, which has the honor of holding the domain www.mangalica.com. Either way, told you so.

  1. Vándorló says:

    I’d like to know what in particular was special about the Spanish blend of mangalica (dried) sausage/kolbász as there are at least three different types of mangalica kolbász available in the Nagycsarnok. There is a really tasty small szarvas-mangalica kolbász (venison-mangalica dried sausage). I’ve also seen other cured mangalica hams around from time to time, but maybe this is seasonal? These are all freely and easily available, so what is the added value of the Spanish connection?

  2. Vándorló says:

    Just had a look over at the blog dedicated to kolbász http://kolbaszbajnok.freeblog.hu (hasn’t been updated since 2006) as I thought I might be going insane and was relieved to find I hadn’t imagined it all, there are plenty out there.

    n.b. Using google to filter the site/blog for mangalica list only the csabai kolbász and the previously mentioned szarvas-mangalica ‘cuvee’ kolbász, but I have seen a third.

  3. Erik says:

    Well, I don’t know exactly what everyone is doing here in Hungary, ham and sausage-wise, but I suspect it is not Spanish-style. Jamón, like the more famous Italian prosciutto crudo, isn’t smoked, and is very delicate. Same with the lomo, which is like a tenderloin. Chorizo is fattier, but also different than any csípős kolbász I’ve had. Whether it is better is up to personal taste, but I’m pretty sure it’s different.

  4. Vándorló says:

    @Erik: There’s an article from NOL dating back to 2005 that gives a lot of detail about the Olmos és Tóth partnership: http://www.nol.hu/archivum/archiv-379224 It fills in a lot of the details about what is special about their product.
    On the technical aspects there is a pretty (read, very) detailed breakdown of the technical aspects and properties of mangalica cured by various methods from a conference back in 2005: http://www.atk.hu/szaktanacsadas/mangalica/
    The paper/presentation by Zelenák Levente et al., on ‘meat products from mangalica’ (Húskészítmények mangalicából) gives a lot of information about the curative properties of mangalica under different techniques.
    I realise this is all overkill, but I’m happy I can at least explain to my guests why mangalica is so great – and hope they better appreciate the present I give to them.

  5. Ricsi says:

    Just for added info. we also operate a bio-farm and specialise in Mangalica, current herd of 12 will be increased as usual after the winter.
    Best pork available by far.

  6. Vándorló says:

    @Ricsi: As a non Hungarian how do you feel about immigrants and westerners coming to Hungary and buying agricultural land and operating their farms? Surely this is not good for real Hungarians?

  7. Ricsi says:

    Van–on the one hand you offer advice about secure e-mails,then you come out with the knife in your hand and now you ask this oft repeated question.For your info and much to your dissappointment I am in the process of receiving full Hungarian citizenship “passport” and my business partners are all ‘real’
    Hungarians.We are here to stay my friend !

    Those with no family connections to Hungary should not be allowed to buy land.(But talk to me nicely and I might be able to arrange for you to buy some in the local cemetary :))

  8. Vándorló says:

    @Ricsi: You mistook my non-partisanship with some some sort of personal help. I simply detest hypocrites and I’m sure you would point any similar logical discrepancy out (well not for anything Jobbik does, but beside that). I find it absurd that you as a non-Hungarian are running and buying farmland when you overt political allegiance (on politics.hu) is with a politic party that would exclude you and even ‘repatriate’ you. Meanwhile you seem to believe that Hungarians or Jewish descend have less of an interest in the country and the land. Do you see the hypocrasy? More importantly, why be so partisan, why always the taking sides when it is clear that all the political parties have major faults. I would love to talk about specific detail concerning your party Jobbik, but, of course, the lack of any specific detail or policies is one of their main faults.

    p.s. Don’t confuse a sharp tongue with me ‘coming out with the knife in my hand’. I thought I’d made it clear how little your opinions matter, you are simply a useful example of what is wrong with Jobbik and their policies. It will be one rule for you lot and another for everyone else. Same old same old. You are a hypocrite, that’s all. Nothing personal.

  9. Ricsi says:

    Van–Open your eyes (I know you hate that :))and stop been such an ‘all mighty’ obnoxious fool,inside you is an intelligence just trying to get out,but it is trapped by your ‘holier than thou’ attitude .
    As you know from countless comments,my family line is Hungarian and my father bought the initial piece of land followed by my joint business ventures with some Hungarians (jobbik as it turns out!)
    I can not say much more as I am aware all my comments are monitored by those juvenile haters,but rest assured nobody is talking about repatriating anybody,this is not the BNP after all.
    Back to topic—Enjoy the mangalica-at least we have one thing in common :)

  10. Erik says:

    I’m with Ricsi. Let’s just agree that these are fine pigs and forget the other pigs for the time being.

  11. Ricsi says:

    Erik–You are not implying that ‘Hungarians or jewish descend’(sic) as referred to by Ván are ‘other pigs’ ?? LOL :)

  12. Sepp44 says:

    Ricsi: you are just a common garden variety sociopath who expresses himself in anti-Semitism cloaked as pseudopolitical gibberish and pretends to higher knowledge through pro-Nazi sympathies. What a pathetic excuse for an expat geek you are. I’m sure you have a lot of sympathy for the Hungarian sensitivity towards owning land: your partner in the farm in Pécsvárad, is…. Bulgarian? As you posted on the absurdly weird Maltese Neo-fascist web site you so love to inhabit: http://www.vivamalta.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-8946.html Well, looking at http://www.ivanov.hu at least I will know to mention the farm to my local purveyor of bio groceries the next time I shop as a prime source worthy of a boycott. I’ll buy my mangalica from some other source. Waiting for your naturalization means you are not yet a Hungarian citizen. I am. You are just a pathetic lying British expat with compulsive Nazi sympathies. You are the lowest of the low. A real bottom feeder. A parasite on the Hungarian nation.

  13. sepp44 says:

    Oh, and Ricsi: I suppose we can email you via http://www.ivanov.hu as well?

  14. Ricsi says:

    So do you like Mangalica ! :)

  15. joe dirt says:

    Hahah Ricsi,

    Sepp44 has your number REAL bad. If I were you I’d be a little less of a smartass online because people seem to be LOOKING for you and your Nazi rhetoric REALLY pisses people off who lost relatives to Nazis. I hope the Hungarians do to you what they did to the Jews and no one will laugh louder about it than me.

    You have some psychological issues that are your own problem but clearly your boyfriend ran off with a Jew once. Don’t worry! You can still take it in the a-s from a German! You might be able to find a blind one with no sense of smell to oblige you!

    Just remember… this may all be a game for you, but one day you will meet someone you have insulted face-to-face, and BOY do I hope the youtube cameras are rolling!

    You might want to consider getting a little less confrontational as you age, because scar tissue is not an attractive facial feature.

    Oh, also, anyone with ANY electronic security savvy can find you SOOOO easily… Your bravado in continuing your racial provocation in the light of this is not suuuper intelligent. Just a thought Mr. Farmer Man.

  16. Koermendi says:

    Surely the more mangalica purveyors / sources, the better, for
    us all. Ricsi, twelve hogs! A small operation — almost family-
    style… is this still a hobby farm?

    I’m not sure why smallholders from outside Hungary should not
    be encouraged to establish farms, particularly those with
    specialty products. Kecskesajt, for example. Or lamb. (Mmmm.
    Yummy!) Goats and sheep can be good for marginal land, the
    sort on which cattle don’t prosper (Vas Megye, Zala Megye — we
    have lots of it!). But where are the Hungarian cheesemakers who
    might market a specialty goat cheese and buy milk from small-
    scale milkers? The sheep farmers who might sell lamb and ewe
    milk alike? Is it difficult to pull together the capital for such a
    venture? Can only persons from outside Hungary come up with
    the funds?

    Industrial / battery farming, no thank you. That’s no good for
    anyone but Tesco. However, smallholders… maybe they’re
    different, and maybe Ricsi deserves our support. What about us
    all chipping in to buy a flitch or two of bacon from him?

  17. @RICSI says:

    TO RICSI THE RACIST HATE MONGER — go to VivaMalta website and see his writings. Then take note of THIS —

    European Union Directive for Combating Racism and Xenophobia (2007)

    The text establishes that the following intentional conduct will be punishable in all EU Member States:

    - Publicly inciting to violence or hatred , even by dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material, directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.
    - Publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising
    - crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (Articles 6, 7 and 8) directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin, and
    - crimes defined by the Tribunal of Nuremberg (Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, London Agreement of 1945) directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.
    Member States may choose to punish only conduct which is either carried out in a manner likely to disturb public order or which is threatening, abusive or insulting.
    The reference to religion is intended to cover, at least, conduct which is a pretext for directing acts against a group

  18. joseph dietrich says:

    It appears one cannot even google the web for an article about Hungarian mushrooms without coming across anti-racist and racist chit chat on a food site of all places.Absolutely pathetic!
    They say imitation(or in this case false impersonation)is the best form of flattery.Sepp 44 is a fake.A cowardly fake.Ricsi knows me better don’t you ‘dude’?LoL.


  19. joseph dietrich says:


    Ricsi,the Mangalica salami I bought was not impressive.Too dry and a tad on the sharp side.The smoked ‘English’ bacon was brilliant.All gone.

    The Mako onions were crap.Half were rotten,The Mako garlic were starting to grow.Most disappointing by Tescos’ standards.

    Take no notice of the retards baiting you.Stick to what you are doing.I hope you do well with the farm.
    regards Joska

  20. Szolt says:

    Yeah I so tired of Szolt! He try to pretend nice but he very race/Nazi! Hope he gone good.

  21. Ricsi says:

    To whom it may concern-
    Thank you for the legal lesson,though I am sure both VivaMalta and Jobbiks legal representatives are well knowledged in law. Joska I never once thought it was you,you would have heard from me by now!
    Whoops,almost forgot………..something important
    let me give you a few clues—I am not Bulgarian but originally from England,I am not married and my partner is not called Andrea,that is not my land,that is nowhere near my address,Erik the site owner and 2 legal entities are aware of your amateurish error.I have a question for you legal experts—What is the law regarding false accussations,slander and hate mail to an innocent third party (who is not even politically motivated)?

  22. Law says:

    Mmmhh The NacsiVadasz are pretty sloppy, so they got the wrong guy, how typical. My! My! Accusing and attacking an innocent third party person.

  23. Matt says:

    Guys: I accuse you both of being petty, bickering old men. Feel free to take it back to politics.hu. At the very least, say something about the post.

  24. Koermendi says:

    Yes, please we have all had enough of the Jobbik nonsense to last us a lifetime! Please take it back to politics.hu if that’s where you came from. Forget the offer to buy the pigs too. Screw Jobbik, they will destroy us all.

  25. Hunter says:

    Ricsi, we are not sloppy, just more clever than you realize YET. Stay tuned. Watch how this unfolds.

    Oh also, we’ll see how happy the Jobbik leadership is that thanks in part to you, links can now be shown that Jobbik’s members are publicly associated with neo-Nazism. The success of their strategy depends on their ability to at least pretend to not be associated with such unsavory elements as yourself and your partner. At least that’s how public relations works.

    Ricsi, YOUR clumsy, in-your-face racist efforts don’t fit in with Jobbik’s attempts to keep a low-profile re: hate-speech, so we will contact Jobbik’s HQ and let them know about how you are blowing their cover… Let’s see how smug you are then.

    Also, perhaps some journalists will be contacting Jobbik to “expose Jobbik’s links with the Neo-Nazi fringe/vivamalta.org”. We are in contact with some US newspaper journalists very interested in your story and these links and they are working on interesting expose in light of recent events in Hungary.

    Something tells me you might lose that Jobbik membership card you worked so hard to earn…

    Stay tuned.

    And yes, sorry to the culinary folks who might still be on this thread! We’ll take this “offline”, don’t worry! Our apologies. We’ll try not to be back here.

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