Plautdietsch word of the day: siltjees

Plautdietsch word of the day: siltjees

Pronounced: sil-ch-eye-eez

What it sounds like: A childhood game played by certain tribes in Africa

What it really means: head cheese.  A Mennonite recipe which is made with ground-up scraps of meat taken from cooked hogs head, which resembles a grey past with a mushy texture.  Sounds like one of granny's recipes!

It should be noted that the making of head cheese differed greatly among Mennonites. Some used only skin and meat that was scrapped off of a cooked hog’s head and finely ground through a meat grinder. Some added the brains to this mixture, which remained “pasty” and mushy when cooked.

Siltjees..mmmmm mmmmm good! :-)  Mennonites,....we waste nothing!

Other cultures, like Ukrainian, made head cheese with rendered connective tissues from the hog (collagen) and mixed it with finely cut chunks of pigs feet and pork hocks. This mixture solidified and could be sliced after it cooled. And yet others considered “head cheese” whatever was leftover that could be put though a meat grinder and mixed together.

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Preparation was simply heating a portion in a cast iron pan. Many doused the head cheese with vinegar and some added sliced onions.

Siltjees has definitely remained an acquired taste over the years. You generally never had someone wondering what type of wine would pair with head cheese on tweibach.  :-)

Don't forget to check out our funny Mennonite greeting cards!
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