Salo—cured pork fat—is considered to be the quintessential national dish in Ukraine. This article is an ethnographic exploration of how salo has become a contested space where wider anxieties over the industrialization of food and Ukrainian identity are played out. Russian jokes about Ukrainians and their love for salo highlight the complex relationship between the countries. A certain shrug with which many Ukrainians respond when asked about their “national” dish articulates how ambiguous they see their place in the world: not wanting to be labeled as folksy and peasant-like at the periphery of Europe, but still seeing salo as a marker of the good life that could unite the contending parts of the country. The Museum of Salo employs salo to reimagine Ukrainian identity as cosmopolitan, ironic, and “European.”

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