Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Swine Club

A Blunt Instrument Best Used in Hand-to-Hand Combat

The first rule of The Swine Club is: you tell EVERYONE on the internet about The Swine Club. You just need to know the secret code: Pečene vepřove koleno (petch-eh-nee veh-przhovee koh-leh-no). This is Czech for 'roasted pork knee.' It is a massive chunk of swine flesh served on the bone, au naturel, on a board with a knife sticking out of it. Czechs don't merely cook their piggies. They get medieval on their knees.

Photo by Gabriela Sarževská
I've had several friends ask me for the code when they were about to visit Prague for the first time. It usually went something like this: 'Where can I get that piggy-thingamajig on a piece of wood?' To which I replied, 'Oh, you mean the large, greasy piece of roasted swine that you pick up by the bone and use to club uppity vegans into submission? That would be the koleno. And you are in luck, my carnivorous friend: you can get that almost EVERYWHERE in Prague (or at least everywhere vegans fear to tread).

You might be thinking, 'Why would I want that? I'm happy with fast food chains and safe food options.' I'll tell you why. Remember the Medieval World scene from The Cable Guy? Piles of meat on the plates, scraps and bones on the floor. And jousting. And a disenfranchised chick saying 'I'm your serving wench, Julie.' You know you'd pork that.

Der Schweinenhammer

Bohemian and Bavarian cuisine (if you can call a diet based largely on beer and pork 'cuisine.' It is also known as Muslimsbane) are similar. In Bavaria (Munich und freunds) they call my dear Pork Mallet Schweinshaxe, also badly translated as 'pork knuckle.' Who the fuck puts knuckles on pigs? Anywho, I prefer the more barbaric word der schweinenhammer, or pork hammer. Don't worry. You won't have to remember that one because it's not on the menu. I just made that shit up because it sounds cool. That's what we wordsmiths do. We hammer words until they squeal. Sometimes we kneecap the bitches, and occasionally, but only rarely, we get medieval on their asses.

But whether we call it koleno or haxe, they both have the same effect on you. After you eat it you will feel like you've been pounded in the stomach by the red hot hammer of a medieval blacksmith. This feeling is what your humble culinary servant WBJ calls The Hammer of the Gods. It hurts. It hurts so good.

Baskets of Bread and Other Useless Shit

The Pig Cudgel usually comes with mustard, sauerkraut, horseradish and a huge basket of bread. Don't fill up on the bread. Trust me (think: stomach hammer). This beast is 1 kilo of meat, fat, grease and bone. Use the bread sparingly, just to absorb the greasy blow of the swine club, use the mustard and horseradish as an antiseptic balm for the roast beast, and tip the server. He/she just might know the Heimlich maneuver.

You can find koleno in most tradtional Czech hospodas (pubs) or restaurace (guess). Make sure it's served on the board with the knife. You will feel like either a viking warrior or a klingon. Unless you're a vegan. Then you'll feel about as useless as an asshole on an elbow. Or a knee. Or a knuckle...


Spudnik said...

Haha! Looks like I gotta get me to Prague again some day real soon...

Craig Robinson said...

Yes indeedy. You're always welcome. We'll stagger down the streets with heads full of beer and swine clubs in our fists. We'll send all those vegans and gluten free hipsters running in FEAR. :D

Michael Mc Guinness said...

No matter what way I eat the Pork knee, I always look like a savage. It's not the type of dish that you can eat with a knife and fork, but they are generally very tasty and go down well with a good beer or 2 (or 22). The Pork knee definitely lines you stomach and you are ready for a good (drinking) session.

Craig Robinson said...

Embrace your inner (and outer) savage, auld son. Or as Floyd would say: Swine On, You Crazy Diamond!

- Big Sir