Best of Poland: Part II

Last week, I reviewed the first set of tasty morsels I came across during my stay in Poland. Today, I’ll finish up the series with 11 more dishes and foods that exemplify some of the day-to-day things we ate, as well as the more unique items. Bring along your taste buds and let’s get going:

#1: Smoked Bacon Sandwich

If you’re starting to get the idea the Poles love their pork, you’re on the right track. Red meat is a rarity, except in the form of veal. This smoked bacon variety is thick-sliced and tastes great in its raw state.

#2: Gofry

Gofry are essentially rectangular waffles that are typically topped with fresh whipped cream and fresh or jammed fruit. They were typically served by ice cream shops in the winter months, but now can be found year-round.

#3: Vegetable Soup

Not much to say about this veggie soup, except that it was thick and full of flavor.

#4: Schabowe (Cutlets)

Yes…more pork (and a few pieces of chicken) make up this serving dish of goodness, battered with an egg wash and pan fried.

#5: Paczki

By far my favorite Polish dessert, paczki are essentially fried donuts. The semi-crisp outer skin gives way to a soft interior and a filling of fresh fruit jam. The ones in the photo were home-made by my aunt, and even better than the store variety.

#6: Sour Pickles and Pickled Mushrooms

It’s nearly impossible to find a true Polish sour pickle in a U.S. grocery store. They are crunchy, salty, intensely sour, and almost always home-made. Poles are also known for their love of collecting mushrooms and pickling them, as well.

#7: Placki Ziemnaczane

While last week’s potato pancakes were made from zucchini, these are the originals.

#8: Pyzy

While it looks like a pierogi, pyzy are thick balls or “blobs” of potato dough (as opposed to thin skins), sometimes filled with a meat concoction and topped with bacon and fat drippings (Yum!). The dough is super-soft and surprisingly not filling.

#9: Cucumber Soup

Another flavorful and unusual soup, this has a taste that hints of dill relish and is slightly sour.

#10: Strawberry Noodles

I think this one freaked my wife out the most, but after one bite, she was hooked. Delicious spaghetti is topped with sour cream, sugar, and fresh or defrosted strawberries, creating a semi-runny sauce that’s perfect for a late summer snack.

#11: Ribs

I have to end with pork–marinated overnight, stewed for hours, full of fatty goodness, and an absolute delight to eat.

So there you have it…22 of the most delicious things we tasted on our trip. I hope my posts gave you a good overview of what it’s like to live and eat in Poland.

For many people, especially other Europeans, it’s a surprisingly heavy diet, but for me–I just couldn’t get enough.

Bon appetit! (Or, as we say in Poland…smacznego!)