There's a really big part of me that's a paranoid survivalist. In my cupboard under the stairs, there are wind-up torches and radios, sacks of rice, candles, the works, all to help me stave off the zombie apocalypse. I once even tried to buy a box of Army ration packs off eBay.
I have a particular fondness for canned meats. How can I not? - in the news, there was even a couple who'd got a canned chicken for their wedding and they opened it 50 years later for their golden anniversary and it was still edible. Pek is a favourite, as is corned beef, though I never really liked Spam.
Anyway, I struck meaty gold when I found this selection of beauties in a supermarket on the Cut in Waterloo.
I love getting Polish meat from the deli counter anyway, especially sopocka, boczek, wiejska, and kabanos, so I figured the canned stuff was worth a punt.
Clockwise from top right, I bought a jar of bigos, a pack of boczek, a tin of debicka, a pack of golonka and a jar of gulasz. In the middle is a pack of smalec.
So far I've tried the golonka, the boczek and the smalec. The first two are nice and porky but the texture is too spammy for my liking. The smalec however is in a class of its own.
Picturesquely described on the label as "sandwich fat" and apparently Poland's favourite starter, smalec is basically seasoned fat or lard with a few strands of bacony pork quivering in amongst it.
It's bloody beautiful, but will end up killing me, especially as I've been spooning it straight from the tub into my mouth ...