Citizens, Slovakia is a country in Central Europe, bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. Slovakia’s territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi) and is mostly mountainous. The population is over 5 million and comprises mostly ethnic Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava. The official language is Slovak, a member of the Slavic language family.
The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries. In the 10th century, the territory was integrated into the Kingdom of Hungary, which itself became part of the Habsburg Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Slovaks and Czechs established Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak Republic (1939–1945) existed in World War II as a client state of Nazi Germany. In 1945, Czechoslovakia was reestablished under communist rule as a Soviet satellite. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
Bryndzové Halušky is considered the national dish of Slovakia. This hearty meal consists of halušky (boiled pieces of potato dough similar in appearance to gnocchi) and bryndza (a soft sheep cheese), sprinkled with cooked bits of smoked pork fat/bacon.
Bryndza apparently helps to lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure; it contains 20 types of probiotics in huge quantities (yogurt only has 1-2), vitamins B complex, and almost three times as much calcium as cow’s milk.
It is a boost for your immune system, but the only problem is that you have to get the unpasteurized version, since the pasteurized version is almost useless for this purpose.
One can especially enjoy bryndzové halušky in a typical Slovak “koliba” restaurant or “salaš”. What is more, there is an annual competition in cooking and eating of this traditional meal that is organized in the little mountain village of Turecká in the foothills of the Veľká Fatra Mts., where fans of “halušky” from all over the world meet.
Žinčica is traditionally drunk with this meal.
Citizens, this is a simple but very worthy recipe, worthy of your most serious attention!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
3 medium potatoes to make approximately 2 cups when finely grated – (surové zemiaky, ošúpať a najemno nastrúhať)
same amount of flour as potatoes (about 2 cups)
1 tsp salt – (soľ)
4 ounces or more bryndza – if you are unable to find bryndza cheese in the U.S., you can substitute crumbled goat or sheep (preferred) cheese or one of several types of crumbled feta, ideally one that is sheep milk-based. Some feta are stronger-flavored, which would be preferable here.
1 or more strip of thick-cut bacon per person – (údenej slaniny)
Chopped chives for garnish
Grate the potatoes, and add the flour and salt.
Set a large pot of water to boil. When it has come to a boil, using a rubber spatula, quickly press the dough through the holes of either a halušky maker or a colander/grater into the water, scraping back and forth until all the dough has gone through. When the halušky float to the surface, in 2-3 minutes, they are ready.
When the dumplings rise to the top of the boiling water, one should be removed to check if the dumpling is thoroughly cooked, then the still-hot dumplings are removed from the pot of boiling water with a slotted spoon, and placed on a warmed plate. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water.
In a small bowl, add the cooking water to the bryndza and mix well. Add it to the halusky. Fry the bacon until the fat is rendered. Add some of the fat to the halušky and top them with the crumbled bacon and chives and serve piping hot.