Thursday, August 12, 2010


I have a mystery for you today. What, pray, is ‘wick-a-wack’? ‘German’ wick-a-wack, to be specific. I have a recipe for it, and my inference is that it is an interpretation of a German recipe – perhaps one for sausage meat or some other pork smallgoods.

I found the recipe in Home pork making; a complete guide ... in all that pertains to hog slaughtering, curing, preserving, and storing pork product--from scalding vat to kitchen table and dining room (Chicago, 1900), by Albert Fulton, and I have been unable to find any other reference to it at all.

German Wick-a-Wack.
Save rinds of salt pork, boil until tender, then chop very fine, add an equal amount of dried bread dipped in hot water and chopped. Season with salt, pepper, and summer savory; mix, spread one inch deep in baking dish, cover with sweet milk. Bake one-half hour. Very nice.

It is some sort of savoury bread pudding, and does indeed sound interesting, but whence the name? I await your enthusiastic comments, wild guesses, and the fruits of you deep knowledge. In the meantime, it is an excuse to give you a favourite, but rather long, prose extract in lieu of a quotation for the day.

Quotation for the Day.
Of all the delicacies in the whole mundus edibiles, I will maintain roast pig to be the most delicate. There is no flavor comparable, I will contend, to that of the crisp, tawny, well-watched, not over-roasted crackling, as it is well called – the very teeth are invited to their share of pleasure at this banquet in overcoming the coy, brittle resistance – with the adhesive oleaginous – oh, call it not fat! But an indefinable sweetness growing up to it – the tender blossoming of fat – fat cropped in the bud – taken in the shoot – in the first innocence – the cream and quintessence of the child-pig’s yet pure food – the lean, no lean, but a kind of animal manna – or rather fat and lean (if it must be so) so blended and running into each other that one together makes one ambrosian result or common substance.
Charles Lamb.


Petra said...

O that's really funny to find that outside of Germany. It's an old specialty of only one region in Germany, of Hessen (capital Frankfurt), especially the northern part of it. It's real name is "Weckewerk" and it's a traditional boiled sausage or meat pudding if you like, made after sluaghtering a pig. "Wecke" is a dialect word for bread rolls which were used very often instead of old bread. "Werk" means "work".

Gary said...

I recently bought a volume of Lamb's essays, just for the one you quoted. It has that wonderful story about how a Chinese farmer discovered the secret of making roast pork.

Anonymous said...

This review

says, that there is an entry on wick-a-wack in:

Herbert W. Ockerman: Sausage and processed meat formulations. New York 1989.

Good luck

The Old Foodie said...

Fantastic, Petra! I have had so many suggestions about the name, so this is wonderful.
Many Thanks, you have made my day.