Polyglot Gluttony


Of the six or seven guys behind the counter, at least half were from the local Latin American community and spoke to each other in Spanish, but when it was time to help a Serbo-hablante customer decide between sausages in the style of Sibiu or Srem, they dropped into impressively fluent Serbo-Croatian.

When it was our turn, we explained we were looking for something that in Hungarian was called csülök, and the clerk switched into Hungarian while producing a glistening, dark red hunk of pork knuckle. We walked out with bags stuffed with a half-dozen meats, jars of ajvar and horseradish and pickles, and after discovering a bottle of quince brandy at a nearby liquor store, called all of our friends to come share in the bounty.

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