In recent years, Prague has been attracting more and more visitors who are interested specifically in the local cuisine and beverages. Besides regular food tours there are also special one-off events, such as the Natural Born Butchers’ wine tasting party inspired by the pig slaughter season, combining mostly Bohemian and Moravian wines and specialties made from a traditional Czech breed of pig.
In this week’s edition of Panorama: a taste of country life in Prague – city hall organizes a pig slaughtering feast on Náměstí Míru. The Czech capital boasts a unique and costly enterprise -a bridge leading from nowhere to nowhere, and the European Yo Yo Championship raises the roof at Prague’s Archa Theatre.
The tradition of the pig slaughter in the Czech Republic has declined precipitously in the last ten years, as reported by the Czech Press Agency. While 75,000 tonnes of pork went towards pig slaughters in the year 2000, only a third of that, 25,000 tonnes was slaughtered in 2008. According to the Association of Czech Meat Processors, the decline is due to the more favourable prices of pre-processed pork in supermarkets today and the greater number of restaurants that offer the kinds of food items traditionally prepared in slaughters. Concerns that the EU would ban home pig slaughtering were allayed in September, when the European Council passed a measure permitting the practice and instating stronger regulations against animal cruelty.
A pig-slaughter feast -for some an inconceivable cruelty that has no place in the 21st century, for others a way of life and an old tradition. Only last week it seemed that home pig slaughters could be on their way out, but after much debate and pressure from individual EU members officials in Brussels have given them the green light.
Stealing a railway bridge is not as difficult as it may sound! Pork crackling, tongue in aspic or some chopped liver? Former cabinet ministers enjoy a pig slaughtering feast. And, forget about the toilets, some Czech schools have introduced smoking rooms. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.