As we toured outside of Bogota Columbia during our recent trip to South America, we came across a little family-run store that sold head cheese they had prepared on premise. Our travelling companions insisted that we try it. The place was well known to them as they had been stopping there for many years, each time enjoying the head cheese.
Head cheese is similar to a dish made by my parents and grandparents: a jellied meat we called Sülze. However, there are a couple of differences, the first being that the head cheese is usually formed into a cylindrical sausage and the ingredients include the head of some animal. Sülze on the other hand, as we make it, is packaged in a bowl and made of the more refined ingredients pork hocks and veal.
The etymology of the word seems to relate back to salt, which makes sense as salt was historically one of the primary methods of preserving food.
So after trying the head cheese I promised I would make them Sülze after we returned home (see recipe).
Yesterday, my wife came home with another package of pork hocks and veal. I guess that means I'll be making more.