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Last Updated: Monday, 21 June, 2004, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
Pork choc on the menu in Ukraine
By Helen Fawkes
BBC, Ukraine

Dasha prods the 's' shaped chocolate bar in front of her.

You can understand why she's in no rush to eat it - the Ukrainian student has just been served pork fat covered in chocolate.

Chocolate-covered port fat
Chocolate salo: Salty on the inside, sweet on the outside
"It's salty on the inside and very sweet on the outside. It's unusual yes, but it's completely disgusting," says Dasha Khabarova.

Forget deep-fried Mars bar. One of the unhealthiest snacks in the world can now be found in Ukraine.

For years people here have loved pork fat, known as salo.

Normally, small slices of the white fat are eaten with black bread, raw garlic and vodka.

But this new twist is designed to appeal to Ukraine's love of all things fatty.

Eurovision fan

For the equivalent of 1 you can now get four small sticks of salo covered in chocolate at Kiev's poshest Ukrainian restaurant.

"Our head chef likes to experiment so now we have this new creation." says Roman Novitski, the manager of Tsarske Selo restaurant.

Young girl, come and try my tasty salo, it's super salo
Katya Feschenko,
salo seller
"It's turned out quite well, and most people seem to like it."

After Ukraine's victory at the Eurovision song contest, Kiev is gearing up to welcome thousands of visitors from Europe.

Chocolate salo is likely to be one of the dishes they are offered especially as Ruslana, Ukraine's winning entry is a fan of it.

And you can also get hold of the sweet salo - nicknamed Ukraine's Snickers - in Ruslana's home city of Lviv in Western Ukraine.

"I love it as it's unusual. I was given the first serving of Lviv's chocolate salo. Perhaps they were testing my bravery, but I ate it and I'm still alive!" Ruslana laughs.

But the chocolaty pork fat should come with a health warning, according to Dr Svetlana Fus from the Kiev Medical Research Centre.

Ruslana
Unusual: Pop singer Ruslana says she likes chocolate salo
"It's the worst combination you could have. I think that people should steer clear of the Ukrainian Snickers."

The former Soviet republic already has one of the highest death rates from heart disease in Europe.

"Young girl, come and try my tasty salo, it's super salo," Katya Feschenko shouts to me.

Katya is the salo queen at Kiev's busy Bessarabska Market.

Slabs of white fat sit next to spare ribs and hunks of bacon on her stall.

"Ukrainians love salo. It comes from villages so it has a good flavour. It's very tasty," says Katya, who has been selling salo for the last 20 years.

And now that salo comes with a chocolate coating it could become even more popular.




SEE ALSO:
Ukraine celebrates Eurovision win
16 May 04 |  Entertainment
Q&A: Obesity
26 May 04 |  Medical notes
Country profile: Ukraine
25 May 04 |  Country profiles



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