Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Kabanos- Polish Manipulation of Wikipedia

Kabanos is in the news today, which started me thinking about writing something on my difficulty in knowing if I will like the ones on the supermarket shelf - sometimes excellent, but usually not. It was due to say something about them being "pork, fowl or just foul tasting" - salmon kabanosy are rather disappointing too - and the extent to which they are dry and/or smoked or not. I wasn't sure whether smoking was a standard feature, however, so I looked on Polish Wikipedia. However, this seemed to be incorrect and surprisingly short. I figured it was just my ignorance, but then I noticed that it was updated yesterday at the time when there are arguments about the Polish origin of Kabanosy. So I looked at the English version to see what it said: the difference was so extreme that I then looked at other languages (with the help of Google Translate).

The background is the attempt to make Kabanosy an EU registered Polish product, which helps protect producers from competition. I now strongly suspect that several Wikipedia versions, including Polish, have been rewritten in line with this application, omitting anything that might conflict with it. Google Translate gives the Polish version to be:
Kabanos - thin, long sausage, prepared with cured pork , carefully dried and smoked. The name comes from the Turkish word Kaban (commonly used also in the region of Białystok ), a hog.
Poles seek applicants for a determination Traditional Speciality Guaranteed for Kabanos.

Only pork? "Carefully dried and smoked"? Pull the other one ...

The English and Italian versions were last amended in April and are virtually identical to each other. The former is:
Kabanos (plural: kabanosy), also known as Kabana in Australia is an Eastern European sausage made of pork. They are most commonly dry to very dry in texture and smoky in flavour. Typically they are quite long - 30-60 cm (12-24 in) but very thin, with a diameter of around 2 centimetres (0.79 in), giving them a very characteristic appearance.
The name comes from the Turkish term (later on also used in Ukraine and some parts of Eastern Europe) "kaban", which means hog (male pig). A similar product is known as cabanossi elsewhere in Europe.
Kabanos is often seasoned only with pepper. Currently, kabanos (the type sold in many delis) is made of pork. Up until recently kabanos was made of different meats, including horse, beef and lamb. Although these kabanos variants can be found in rural parts of Poland, the majority of kabanos remain a pork product. Kabanos, unlike other meats such as sausage, are typically eaten alone as an appetizer, and often served with cheese.
Versions made of turkey are a staple in kosher meat markets and delicatessens.
Kabanos are commonly used as hiking food because they do not spoil as quickly as many other sausages.

The German version was also updated this month and has kabanos as a solely Polish product, but is more informative than the Polish version. The Germans oppose the Polish traditional product proposal as they also claim it as one of their sausages, but there is no reference to a German product. A reference to Pan Tadeusz suggests a Polish source. It is difficult not to suspect judicious editing here too.
Kabanos (plural: Kabanosy) is the name of a traditional Polish sausage , from the marinated pork and prepared hot smoked is. A Kabanos is relatively thin and usually has a length of about 70-80 cm. For smoking it is in the middle hanging on a pole, so there are two approximately 35-40 cm long sections with adjacent ends which are connected by an arch.
The meat for Kabanosy is from specially fattened Polish pigs. Kabanosy stand out among others by their brittleness at the same time, relatively high fat content. In its current form, the sausages were in the 1920s in Poland developed. In the EU request, is to register as a TSG before.
The name "Kabanosy" refers to the much older, in northeastern Poland and Lithuania expressed kaban use for mainly with potatoes fattened pig, which is particularly lean meat mixed. The term is also found in Adam Mickiewicz - such as in Pan Tadeusz (1834) - and is probably South East origin.

You can check the Israeli and Swedish versions for yourselves.

The English version much more reflects reality in Polish shops, but may need updating if the EU decides that it is a Polish traditional product made of pork. If that happens, it will also be interesting to see if the Polish authorities start legal proceedings against the Polish kabanosy producers who will not then be making kabanosy. Getting them "carefully dried and smoked" will presumably be beyond anyone's powers though.

1 comment:

A and Y Ikeda said...

Don't know how I ended up here, but I love your blog. Just so you know. You're in my bookmarks now.

This thing about kabanosy is interesting. I quite clearly remember it to be a dried horse meat sausage when I was a kid (back in the 70s, ahem ahem). Or maybe simply my parents didn't buy the pork version, dunno. And I was also under the impression it was originally a Hungarian import way back when. Just like goulash and paprika.

Either way, I don't care, I'm hungry now. Gonna look at some pictures of kabanosy on the internet, because that's the only kind I can get over here.