Village Pig Slaughter, 2014


Photos taken on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at the first annual village pig slaughter here in our village. This is the traditional way our ancestors got food from their animals and this was much more humanely done than it is in a factory setting. There was a sausage making contest with 8 different teams competing and quite a decent crowd watching and eating. It went so well that they are already planning to do it again next year. We really enjoyed it! (Józsi and Jer have both been to other pig slaughters, but it had been some years back.)





Left, kettles boiling outside the place where the pig slaughter was held; Center, two very sharp meat cleavers cleaned and sharpened; Right, bringing the pig in from the trailer.






Far left; draining the blood from the pig after it was humanely killed; Left, burning the hair off the dead pig; Right, hosing the pig off to remove the charred bits; Far right, scrubbing the pig with brushes to get it all clean.






Far left; some of the blood was cooked up with onions. Jer didn't eat any of this but Józsi and many other people did; Left, preparing to hoist the pig up for butchering; Right, the pig hoisted into place; Far right, the young butcher starting to cut the pig in half.






Far left; the pig now cut in half. As you can see, quite a few children wanted to get a close up look. This is a farming village, after all, so such things are not uncommon or strange to children; Left, fat removed for later mixing in with meat to make a sausage meat base; Right, removing meat from the head; Far right, the butcher giving a child a piece of skin. The skin is fully cooked from the torching and many people ate pieces of the skin. It smelled like pork rinds you buy and probably tasted like them as well, although the skin would be more chewy than crunchy. Neither of us had any of the skin.







Far left, the pig cut completely in half now and the butcher removing hunks of meat; Left, removing meat from the bigger hunks; Center, tubs of cut pieces of meat in preparation for grinding; Right, cutting up the last remaining bits of meat; Far right, mixing up the ground meat and the ground fat.





Left and center, weighing the sausage meat mix. Each team got roughly 14 pounds of meat to spice and cook according to their own recipes. Our mayor took the center photo which is why you can see Józsi and Jer in the blue shirts in the center, watching the action; Right, one of the judges in his funny apron. Naturally he was asked if he had posed for the picture himself!





Three of the teams working on making up their own brand of sausage.






Far left, one of our neighbors testing a sausage casing for holes before filling; Left, one of the eight teams was all women. They came in second place; Right, the ladies filling a sausage casing; Far right, casings filled and now having the ends and middle  twisted to form links.






Far left, putting lard in a skillet before cooking sausages; Left, the sausages cooking away. We had one of this batch, they were very good; Right, the ladies team cooking a batch of their sausage; Far right, a different kind of gadget often used here when cooking outside... with lard melting in preparation for sausage cooking.






Far left, the butcher finally able to relax after having mixed up the mix for the blood sausage; Left, all the leftover bits were boiled up and a number of people picked through them for their own favorite bits, eating them with just a bit of salt; Right, our first taste of sausage, made by the team right behind where we were sitting. It was yummy! Far right, Jer obviously enjoying the food and the company!




Left, the judges. As you can see, they are men who know and love their food! Right, the head of the team who won first place. Everyone did very well and a good time was had by all, so already they are planning for another one next spring.