Not long ago I read a Belarusian chief specialising in traditional Belarusian cuisine going on expeditions in rural areas of Belarus and eastern Poland to record recipes of older women before those recipes are forgotten.
The chief wrote once – a 80 year old woman living in a village of south-western Belarus was giving names to dishes one will not give on culinary show on TV. The names of the dishes were plain and simple.
Pork was the choice of meat in that village. Slavs and other north-eastern Europeans can relate to what I am writing about pork being the choice of meat in traditional cuisine.
In Belarus, there were ‘separate houses’ for preserved products for colder period of the year. Such products were apples, marinated vegetables such as mushrooms, jam, butter, pork fat, meats – cured meats, sausages, ham, whatever. This is an interesting part to the story. Only older women could enter the place where preserved products were kept in the past. The entrance to such ‘place’ was not allowed to younger men , who were hungry during their youth. Guys could be rebuked or beaten up if they entered the place.
Of course, this is not happening in Belarus today. The situation existed 100 years ago in rural areas. I remember us visiting our grandparents living in a village during summers. Grandparents were forcing (‘practically’) us to eat, because they thought we are skinny.