Elenski but

Elenski but Elenski but, while relatively unknown outside of Bulgaria, is a prized delicacy in its home country. Though Elena translates as venison in Bulgarian, Elenski is actually a dry-cured ham made in the Northern Bulgarian town of Elena.

To produce the hams, the back legs of a pig are heavily salted and then layered in barrels known as pastov. The hams cure in the barrels for 40 days before being hung and allowed to air-dry for at least a year. Traditionally the aging barrels were placed in the same room that held the wood-fired cookstove, and the developing hams would pick up hints of smoke as they cured.

Like most dry-cured hams, Elenski is best when thinly sliced and eaten with few accompaniments. Elenski but remains primarily a regional product, with very little distribution outside of Bulgaria.

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