AROUND SLOVAKIA

Bryndza-pie eating contest

An international competition in quickly consuming Slovakia’s traditional potato-bryndza pies was held in the municipality of Hrabkov in Prešov district on September 11. Twelve teams of three members each were competing and the event, its second, attracted 1,500 visitors. Mariách Čech, the main organiser, told the TASR newswire that they hope to make the competition a big, regular tradition that will lure people from the region as well as Slovak expatriates to commemorate folk traditions and honour this popular home-made dish.

An international competition in quickly consuming Slovakia’s traditional potato-bryndza pies was held in the municipality of Hrabkov in Prešov district on September 11. Twelve teams of three members each were competing and the event, its second, attracted 1,500 visitors. Mariách Čech, the main organiser, told the TASR newswire that they hope to make the competition a big, regular tradition that will lure people from the region as well as Slovak expatriates to commemorate folk traditions and honour this popular home-made dish.

In addition to domestic competitors, Slovaks from the Serbian village of Kovačica and from the Hungarian town of Békescsába (Békešská Čaba) travelled here this year to challenge the home teams. In the first round, competitors had to eat 15 pieces of the home-made potato-bryndza pies and the three fastest teams advanced to the finals where the number of pies was increased.

The finalists had to eat as many pies as possible in the shortest time but in this round they could use only one hand, with their index finger and the pinkie tied together. “However, they could improve the taste in any way they preferred – with bacon, sour cream, fried onion, or whatever,” Čech said, adding that they also could drink water or cream.

The names of the winners have been burnt onto a wooden board that has been placed on the fence of the Roháčka restaurant. Čech calculated that 4,000 pies were prepared for the competition with six women from Hrabkov, led by chef Ľubomír Brza, preparing them in the open air using 40 kilograms of flower, 25 kilograms of potatoes and 7 kilograms of bryndza, the traditional unfermented Slovak sheep cheese.

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