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Lard spread (smalec)

This old country-style, cold-weather energy-booster began making a comeback among highly urbanized Poles towards the end of the 20th century. At present, it is kind of a retro thing -- sophisticated, educated Poles often enjoy this old treat not only during cold-weather activities, but also at house-party buffets.


  • 2 ¼ lbs white pork fat
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple
  • 3 buds fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Lard spread (smalec)


Dice 2-1/4 lbs white pork fatback (słonina) and render in frying pan until pale golden.

Add 1 T salt (if your fatback is the unsalted kind), 1 finely diced onion, 1 cooking apple (peeled, cored and diced) and 2-3 buds finely chopped garlic.

Simmer until fatback nuggets turn a deep golden.

Remove from heat, add 1 t marjoram and 1/8 t freshly ground pepper. Stir.

When cooled to room temperature, transfer to jar or crockery container and refrigerate.

Serving Suggestions

Use as a spread on rye bread. It will keep in the fridge up to 2 weeks. Hot lemon tea (plain or spiked) is an absolute ‘must’ to wash down this hearty treat. It’s a great snack to take along to outdoor activities such as sleigh rides and campfires.