Sunday, November 29, 2009
010.Pride of Szeged Rib Rub
Produced (most likely) in Szeged, Hungary
Distributed by Spiceo, Avenel, New Jersey
Claim: “The World’s Best Seasoning” and "Always Fresh"
Ingredients: salt, paprika, garlic, mustard, sugar and spices.
$3.47 for 5 ounces
I seized on this one in a hurry, it being something of a rogue on the spice shelves, where most rubs hail from Texas or, oddly, New Jersey. (Distribution-wise, anyway. Jersey seems a popular point of embarkation for non-perishable anything.)
Szeged is the fourth-largest city in Hungary. There are names for Szeged in at least 10 other languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Italian, Latin, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak and Turkish. The Hungarian coat of arms adorns the tin. Above the logo is an illustration of a very brow-furrowed, spotted pig.
Most of what I know about Hungary I learned from Eva Gabor playing Lisa Douglas. So, next to nothing. I don't really think of Hungary when I think of ribs — hungry, maybe — and I'm thinking that the raison d'etre for this rub is the paprika. Paprika being the house spice — and something for which Hungary is quite renowned — they just added some salt, sugar and stuff and labeled it rub for the Yanks.
Don't know if anybody's buying it. The bottom of my tin has rust bits around the edge. The way it's labeled, you get the feeling just saying "Pride of Szeged" is enough to convince folks, though I wonder how many souls roaming the aisles half-mindedly at Reasor's on a given Sunday know, off the tops of their rib-starved heads, the name of the fourth-largest city in Hungary. I mean, to the point of the label not at least saying Hungary. Ballsy.
As to the packaging — because I haven't taken Szeged out for a spin yet, ribs-wise, I got little else to talk about — the plastic lid is like an iron curtain, with a T-shaped seal that I had to dig out with my teeth in order to get a taste. Pride of Szeged tastes, well, salty.