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Cheese in Poland is too bland


DominicB - | 2,678
9 Dec 2013 #31
Indeed blandness is the norm here.

Yesterday, I made schabowy for my guests. They were a bit shocked when I slathered and marinated the pounded schabs before I breaded them with plenty of garlic and lemon juice, and spiced up the flour and bread crumbs with lots of black pepper, papryka ostra, ginger, basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, cumin and coriander. They tasted the final product with a little trepidation, but were pleasantly surprised and impressed. I'm pretty sure that that one meal represented the overwhelming majority of their herb and spice consumption for the whole year.

Another time, I made REAL Hungarian pörkölt (similar to gulyas, but less liquid) for some other guests. With REAL Hungarian papryka, black pepper, caraway seeds, juniper berries, bay leaves, garlic, marjoram and REAL smoked bacon from the village. And a good dallop of REAL village sour cream and a good sprinkling of chopped dill, parsley and green onion. The older folk thought it was "very spicy" (not exactly a word I would use to describe my pörkölt, which is about one-tenth as spicy as my chili, which I consider only moderately spicy). I later visited them, and they made lecso for me, or rather the Polish version of it. Tasted just like oatmeal. Not a hint of spices, not even black pepper.

However, all in all, Polish food is no blander than any other northern European cuisine. Except, as mentioned above, for cheese, which is atrociously bland. Perhaps the most annoying habit I've come across is adding sugar where it simply doesn't belong, like in potato salad, tzatziki, hummus and tomato sauce. Without a doubt, though, the blandest food I've ever eaten was in the UK.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
10 Dec 2013 #32
of garlic and lemon juice, and spiced up the flour and bread crumbs with lots of black pepper, papryka ostra, ginger, basil, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, cumin and coriander

what a mess of flavours, that sounds gross.
Kevvy 2 | 37
10 Dec 2013 #33
That does sound like a mess to be honest
Jardinero 1 | 407
15 Dec 2013 #34
My biggest disappointment with cheese in Poland, that it is so bland.

My understanding is that most Polish (yellow) cheeses are Dutch style cheeses, which are supposed to be that way.
DominicB - | 2,678
15 Dec 2013 #35
There's a big difference between "Dutch" and "Dutch-style". Real Dutch cheeses are not that bland at all. I think your confusing "mild" with "bland". Commercial knock-offs, from Poland or elsewhere, are no comparison to the real thing. The Polish taste in cheese is practically the same as the American: as immature, taste-free and cheap as possible. Proper aging takes time, money and skill, which is a big disincentive for Polish (and American, and big commercial) cheese producers. Aged cheeses are also an acquired taste, one that few Poles have so far acquired. Poles very strongly equate the taste of aged cheeses with spoilage, so practically all cheeses sold in Poland are fresh and immature for immediate consumption: from cow to store in a week, at most.
jon357 63 | 14,254
15 Dec 2013 #36
The Polish taste in cheese is practically the same as the American: as immature, taste-free and cheap as possible.

Agreed. Tastes are formed in part by marketing, and what passes as cheese in Poland is basically processed chemical-filled muck from factories that fills the shops. This does seem to be changing, but only for those who've developed a taste for foreign cheeses and can afford to buy the stuff that supermarkets sell by weight behind the counter (or have the time to queue and buy). This will trickle down, but very slowly.

Poland is still a country where some people think tomatoes are spicy and where the word mayonnaise is used as an adjective for something very good. The national taste is for foods that aren't highly flavoured. It's no accident that the foreign-style cheeses that sell best are imitations of Brie.
nasadki - | 43
1 Jan 2014 #37
Have you tried really good Oscypek? My wife's family gets it mailed here to the US from their family in southern Poland and I love it. It's the package I can not wait to come. I went and picked it up from the post office last month and my mother-in-law smacked my hands because I couldnt wait and got into it before I even made it back to her house. She probably wont send me to get it ever again, lol.


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