Slabs of white pork fat may not be everyone’s idea of culinary heaven.
But when you’re trying to keep warm in unbearably freezing temperatures, the Ukrainian ‘delicacy’ Salo is, it seems, just what the doctor ordered.
“Salo appears to be one of the most useful food products in chilly conditions,” says Yevgenia Rudenko, our correspondent in Kiev. “Doctors advise at least a tiny slice of this high-energy product each day, because your body needs it when it’s minus 20 outside.”
So, going to work on a cup of coffee in the morning just won’t do. A hearty breakfast with eggs, meat and porridge, it appears, helps to combat the cold.
“Now is not the best time to go on a diet,” said nutritionist Oksana Skytalinska. “You need high-energy food. And if you are on a diet, forget it for the time being. If you keep away from fatty foods, yes, you might not gain a few extra kilos. But you will definitely catch a bug, as your immune system will run low and the body won’t be able to resist.”
The homeless are the most vulnerable in Ukraine’s arctic conditions. Despite emergency help, hundreds have been treated for cold-related ailments like frostbite and hypothermia.