Types of Polish Pork

By Dana Bowen

Published on August 27, 2007

Szyszkowa: A mixture of fine and coarsely ground lean pork seasoned with garlic, this sausage (identical to the more commonly found krakowska, except for the distinctively patterned rind) is served thinly sliced like a cold cut.

Kabanos: These chewy links of air-dried smoked sausage (sometimes called smoky links at Bobak's) in sheep casings are boldly scented with caraway and are smoked and aged for varying amounts of time.

Kiszka: Recipes for this Polish blood sausage vary from place to place: some butchers stuff their kiszka with barley, while others use groats or potatoes.

Boczek: Poles make many varieties of belly and rib bacon, known collectively as boczek. Double-smoked varieties—often labeled boczek myśliwski, or hunter style—and rib-on versions (boczek kościa) add extra flavor to slow-cooked dishes.

Parowki: These finely ground pork sausages—a Polish version of frankfurters—are flavored with hints of paprika and are usually grilled or simmered.

Salceson: Pork tongue and the meat of the pig's head and feet are the principal components of this headcheese-like, coarse cased sausage, which is bound together with natural gelatin.

Kiełbasa: The garlicky and coarsely ground kiełbasa that most Americans are familiar with is what Poles know as wiejska, or country-style cured sausage. Other varieties include swojska, or home style, which is often smoked, not cured, and weselna (wedding style), which is generously flecked with black pepper.

Karczek wedzony: Cut from the upper part of the pork shoulder, this fatty pork butt is cured and smoked and is sold in various shapes and sizes.

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