Archive for the ‘Tastes of Poland’ Category

What My Ancestors Ate and Drank in Middle Ages?

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

If you ask a contemporary Pole what are traditional Polish dishes, certainly, among others, he will mention ‘schabowy? (pork chops) with potatoes or ?bigos?. But only a few know that both dishes are quite new to Polish cuisine.

Potatoes were brought to Europe from America, initially as ornamental plants. Their culinary advantages had not been noticed until the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. In Poland, potatoes became widespread by the end of nineteenth century, which was slightly more than 100 years ago. ?Kotlet schabowy? became popular in the PRL period (Communist Poland 1945 – 1989), and it is a copy of the Austrian Viennese style schnitzel (not Wiener Schnitzel which is made from veal). ?Bigos? was already known in the sixteenth century, but, in fact, it was rather similar to contemporary ?goulash? ? just pieces of chopped meat. It did not evolve into the contemporary form ? dishes made of cabbage and meat ? until the eighteenth century.

Polish Cuisine. Picture source: smakiwroclawia.pl.

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Old Kleparz Market in Krakow

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

The Old Market in Kleparz, is just a few steps from Kraków’s Old Town. It is a magical place and a paradise for the lovers of natural, traditional Polish food.

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Old Kleparz market in Kraków, Picture: Aga, PolishOrigins

The Kleparz dictrict have been a market place since centuries. Even its name Kleparz, came from the word ?klepać? ? in local dialect meaning ‘to bargain?. And certainly you can do that  now!

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Żurek. Traditional Polish sour soup

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Żurek (pronounced as ?zhoorrek?) is soup , with a typical polish taste. It is made from fermented rye flour, similar to the one which is a base for baking bread. It can also contain various meats, like pork, Polish sausage, bacon, etc., along with potatoes, vegetables and mushrooms.

It is known all over Poland, but each region has its own modifications. In Silesia,  it is served with  white sausage. Other versions can be served with bacon, potatoes, and hard boiled eggs, and seasoned with a little bit of horseradish. Sometimes it is served in a bread-bowl. In southern Poland, it is prepared for Christmas Eve, and they call it ?Żur?. This version is very thick, and sour, with a lot of wild mushrooms. Traditionally, it should be eaten from one large bowl. There is also a variation made from fermented wheat flour, with a more delicate taste. This version is sometimes called ?white borsch?, but there are some who would argue about that name. We would say that every family has its own customs about żurek!

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St. Dominic’s Fair in Gdańsk

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

This is one of the biggest trade and open-air events in Europe.

The tradition came from Medieval times, when the Dominicans had the privilege to organize trade in certain days during the year, all over Poland. The purpose of that was to convince people to participate in the celebrations of St Dominic’s Day on   6th August.

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The “Independence beans”

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Have you ever seen this amazing bean variety? Independence  Beans have a long and fascinating history in Poland.  They are also known as ?Eagle Beans?. In Polish they are ?Fasola Niepodleglosci?. It is a white bean which is endowed by nature with a cherry red spot in the shape of an eagle.  It is very similar to the eagle which is depicted on the Polish national emblems!  Moreover, on some of the beans there is a spot resembling an eagle’s crown. It is hard to believe that these shapes are natural and have not been painted by hand.

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The “Independence beans”, picture source: http://www.potrawyregionalne.pl/164,3729,FASOLA_NIEPODLEGLOSCI_.htm

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The beekeeping museum in Stróże

Friday, June 14th, 2013

One of the most famous apiary in Poland is in Stróże.

This beekeeping company is called Sądecki Bartnik, and their honey can be found all over Poland. The family business exists since 1973. In 2000 the owners created a beekeeping museum, with an incredible collection of different beehives, accessories and tools, used for honey production. There is also a gift  shop and a very good restaurant, specializing not only in local cuisine, but also in honey beer and mead.

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Śliwowica Łącka

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Sliwowica is a plum brandy, made traditionally in the region of Lacko, in Lesser Poland.

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Sliwowica Lacka bottles. Picture source: http://www.lacko.pl/sliwowica-lacka.html

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Guciów Farm

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Museum and Tavern with the tastes of the Roztocze region

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Guciów Farm – Museum and Tavern. Picture source: http://guciow.pl/galeria/

Guciów Farm is located in eastern Poland, in the heart of the Roztocze region, just near the town Zamosc. The farm consists of an Ethnographic museum, arranged in a 19th century cottage and barn.  There  is also has an old tavern that houses a unique style restaurant.

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Toruń gingerbread

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Toruń is not only popular for it being the home of Mikołaj Kopernik (Nicholus Copernicus) but also for gingerbread, which has been made in this city since the Medieval Times!

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Torun gingerbread. Picture source: Gingerbread Museum website http://www.muzeumpiernika.pl/?page=home-english

Well developed bee-keeping, a fertile soil, which let to cultivate wheat, and a trade route leading through this area, made this happen. For centuries, bakers from other cities tried to obtain the same taste of gingerbread as they do it in Toruń, but they never succeeded!

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Tyskie Brovarium – Old Tyskie Brewery and Museum

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Drive about an hour and a half from Kraków, and you will find one of the most popular Polish breweries: Tyskie brewery. They have been brewing beer for almost 400 years!

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Old labels of Tyskie beer

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