Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ukrainian dreams

State Meats in Parma, Ohio

If you come to Cleveland and you want to buy some sausage, I am really the girl to look up. I know where the best links are all across this town. I go to specific sausage shops to buy specific sausages for specific recipes. There's the double smoked spicy garlic sausage from Dohar in the West Side Market. I use that for my Hungarian Lesco. For very fine smokies, I like Czuchraj's stand, also in the Market.

But when I want to make sausage and sauerkraut, which I love to a fault, I head over to Parma, specifically State Meats in Ukrainian Village in order to buy their European-style smoked kielbasa, which is of the absolute highest quality.

When you go into State Meats, pretty young women with thick European accents greet you from behind the counter. They hand you generous samples (as in three-bite generous): a chunk of sausage, a wedge of potato pancake, a strip of schnitzel. People wrapped in heavy cloaks against the Cleveland winter speak Ukrainian and Russian.

State Meats has a host of traditional offerings, from borscht to pyrohy and all points in between, including three types of head cheese (hot, vinegar and regular). There is a small selection of imported groceries and the table by the door is piled with Ukrainian newspapers. On the Saturday before Easter, the tiny shop is packed solid with people and business is so frenetic, a Parma cop has to direct traffic on that section of the road.

State Meats is one of those authentic places in this town that I want to last forever and ever. Just the thought of it ever closing makes tears sting my eyes. The surrounding neighborhood is quirky and proud. Every August, Ukrainian Village celebrates the Ukraine's independence from Russia with a festival and parade.

Hence, while most of us sit in front of the idiot box, indifferently watching the evening news with it's 90-second clip on the situation in the Ukraine, there is a contingent of Americans who have significantly more at stake.

As for the parade, I have never been, but I think I will go this year.

A mural in Parma's Ukrainian Village

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Anonymous said...

Please don't interrupt the Righties while they celebrate Reagan and the return of the Cold War by posting reality based content. (If you doubt me read the comments following your linked article)

Crotchety Old Leftie

Michael Lawless said...

Thanks for bringing it home, Erin...and making me hungry.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Looks like this is on my places to go next time I'm home.

BTW, I make both my own sausages (to include stuffing and smoking) and sauerkraut.

Crotchedy Old Rightie

Anonymous said...

@ Erin-at risk of being cast out and shunned, Giant Eagle has a Slovenian Kielbasa in their 'Market' brand...

It's good. Really good.


Bill said...

Doesn't it just seem right that Ukrainians would by their meat at the State Meat Store?

Erin O'Brien said...

Bill, your comment is slightly less charming than a case of venereal warts.

State Meats
5338 State Road
Parma, Ohio 44134

Erin O'Brien said...

Now that we've got that distasteful little bit of biz behind us, behold Al's sausage.

As for GE's Market sausage, MR, I'll give it a try.

Anonymous said...

In other news:

Sriracha is a new Pringles flavor and is only available at Walmart, Kellogg has confirmed to TIME. The product started shipping at the end of February.