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"Poland - it's the new Provence of food"


Paulina 9 | 1,448
18 Feb 2013  #1
guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/feb/16/poland-foods-new-provence
lol

I'm curious about this book "In a Polish Country House Kitchen" by Anne Applebaum (Radosław Sikorski's wife, he's a Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs):

guardianbookshop.co.uk/BerteShopWeb/viewProduct.do?ISBN=9781452110554

Has anyone read it?
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
18 Feb 2013  #2
I applaud whoever made this comment at the Guardian site re E621

Also lots of msg everywhere in the form of ubiquitous "vegata" powder - I can SMELL the horrible stuff! Though my husband loves a bit of msg, it gives me migraines.

That's the problem here -- you go to a nice little bar (cafe that sells food) and often find the great taste is via an additive such as that, not home cooking at all.

I would ask all of us to start asking restaurant managers why they use MSG and ask them to use a natural product instead. Cooking with MSG is not cooking at all, it's a flavour enhancer from a packet and is a salt mix emulating what would otherwise occur in a meal naturally flavoured. MSG is in all sorts of products in Poland, and far more common than in the UK. So much for old-fashioned home cooking!

Ask your local restaurant to stop using MSG and stop using microwave ovens -- insist on real home cooking or walk out the door.
bullfrog 6 | 603
18 Feb 2013  #3
Whoever made the comment quoted in the title has either never been to Provence or to Poland!
OP Paulina 9 | 1,448
18 Feb 2013  #4
So much for old-fashioned home cooking!

Old-fashioned home cooking is done at home ;) I guess one can try it with those "90 great recipes" from Anne Applebaum's book ;)

I would ask all of us to start asking restaurant managers why they use MSG and ask them to use a natural product instead.

Magda Gessler is trying to make a change as far as Polish restaurants are concerned in a TV programme "Kuchenne rewolucje" ("Kitchen revolutions") on TVN (similar to "Kitchen Nightmares" I guess):

She usually advocates natural products, fresh stuff, no microwave ovens, flavour enhancers, etc.

I wonder if she succeeds :)

Whoever made the comment quoted in the title has either never been to Provence or to Poland!

It seems the author of the article was influenced by Applebaum's book - that's why I'm curious what's in it ;)
Btw, bullfrog, have you been to Poland?

It seems the author of the article was influenced by Applebaum's book - that's why I'm curious what's in it ;)

An interview with authors of the book:
publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/interviews/article/55150-in-a-polish-kitchen-pw-talks-with-anne-applebaum-and-danielle-crittenden.html

"Polish food is an unlikely topic for a cookbook." The authors do an excellent job of ridding readers of any preconceived notions that Polish cuisine is bland or unenticing. Both women were inspired by the beauty surrounding Anne and her husband's Polish country house, Dwor Chobielin, which the couple spent two decades rebuilding.

scottie1113 7 | 898
18 Feb 2013  #5
I've been to Provence and I live in Poland. Believe me, when it comes to food, Poland is light years away from Provence.
OP Paulina 9 | 1,448
18 Feb 2013  #6
Well, tell this to the British journalist :)
But I believe you, don't worry lol
bullfrog 6 | 603
19 Feb 2013  #7
Btw, bullfrog, have you been to Poland?

I have lived in Poland for 6 years (2005-2010) and been visiting the country for the past 29 years.. I also own a house in Provence, so know both places quite well..
AmerTchr 4 | 201
19 Feb 2013  #8
I'm not a big fan of French food, don't exactly dislike it but would not go out of my way to visit a French restaurant over say a Mexican one, but have not found any Polish food that really bowls me over.

Kolbasa was the only remotely Polish thing I had eaten regularly before coming into Eastern Europe and it remains as good but not particularly better than what I tasted back home. I was looking at some different types of perogi(s) this weekend and there may be a couple of things there worth a shot. Their version of apple pie is okay but I've had as good and better elsewhere. Maybe there is a bit more to the Polish kitchen but so far it hasn't really excited my palate.

In contrast, Ukraine left me with a love of varenikiy, potato pancakes, Napolean cake, Mednovik, Smetanik and black breads. Azerbaijan served up some incredible lamb dishes and some variations on baklava which were impressive. The Czech Republic delivered some damn fine beer (I enjoyed a microbrew Amber in Torun though). Austria deserves their reputation for cream-based pastries.

It's still early yet, maybe Poland will put something "magical" in front of me eventually.
km1
19 Feb 2013  #9
Polish food is tasty. We have delicious soups and cakes. I don't like French food- it's overrated and it's a bad comparison for me.

potato pancakes and the cakes mentioned above ARE NOT ukrainian dishes.
pip 10 | 1,661
19 Feb 2013  #10
In contrast, Ukraine left me with a love of varenikiy, potato pancakes

Indeed the Ukraine has great food, as does, surprisingly- Georgia.

Polish food is hit or miss. I do like how Magda Gessler is trying to de-Americanize food, but she has an uphill battle. And she is a nasty, unlikeable person- which is revolting.
bullfrog 6 | 603
19 Feb 2013  #11
as does, surprisingly- Georgia.

Why surprisingly? It's a land where people love to eat and drink, they also produce great wines
AmerTchr 4 | 201
19 Feb 2013  #12
I had a couple of Georgian wines that were pleasant. Gotta' get to a good Georgian place sometime since several people have told me Georgian food is different and quite delicious.
jon357 63 | 14,124
19 Feb 2013  #13
There are Georgian and Armenian restaurants in Warsaw. Excellent food.
AmerTchr 4 | 201
19 Feb 2013  #14
Polish food is tasty. We have delicious soups and cakes. I don't like French food- it's overrated and it's a bad comparison for me.

I haven't had any really good soups yet. There is a mushroom soup I find okay but the others have all been much too thin fo my taste, especially in the wintertime. Maybe in summer a couple of them might be better.

Cakes and the other sweets are all predictable so far and haven't offered up anything unique but maybe there's something out there still to be discovered.
bullfrog 6 | 603
19 Feb 2013  #15
Polish food is tasty. We have delicious soups and cakes. I don't like French food- it's overrated and it's a bad comparison for me.

Agree with the delicious soups. Zurek is a favorite of mine. Cakes are OK but they lack variety (once you have tasted makowiec, szarlotka and sernik, you are more or less done). For the rest..
AmerTchr 4 | 201
19 Feb 2013  #16
Indeed the Ukraine has great food, as does, surprisingly- Georgia.

This pretty much sums me up too.

Now I am thinking how much I miss the Ukrainian kitchen.......deruny (with mushrooms, onions and garlic) and vernikiy with meat, served in butter and smetana are in my mind now.

May have to do some pelmeni tonight as the next best thing.
hmm
19 Feb 2013  #17
AmerTchr, you can find the same dishes in Poland: vernikiy with meat are simply pierogi z mięsem, potato pancakes ("deruny") are Polish national dish too, not to mention Napolean cake (Napoleonka)...

Pelmeni is Russian version of vareniky and Polish pierogi. Sometimes it looks like Polish "uszka"
km1
19 Feb 2013  #18
hmm
Potatoes cakes are not ukrainian dish. you can meet them in majority of european countries under different name served with cream or mushroom sauce or my favourite "placki po węgiersku" with goulash. the cakes are not ukrainian as well.
pip 10 | 1,661
19 Feb 2013  #19
pip: as does, surprisingly- Georgia.

Why surprisingly? It's a land where people love to eat and drink, they also produce great wines

It was surprising to me because I never really thought about it, I imagine Bulgaria has some great foods also--but again, just never thought it would.

Probably for the same reason that you would never expect, let's say, Quebec to have some great foods.
Rysavy 10 | 308
19 Feb 2013  #20
Hmm... interesting post I may flip through that book next time I'm at a large bookseller.

I can't say I like French food in general but countryside cooking was hearty from what I remember while traveling through. Only food I like in the cities was bread and dessert.

Between my grandparents ethnic cooking and dishes picked up during immigration; then my Russian mum-in-law, I probably already cook many things that could be made "Polish" with slight adjustment.

I make Blintzes..which I guess are 'omlettes" for Poles, I make potatoe pancakes and dumplings.. several other dishes I make have Polish counterparts...even menudo.

I wonder if Poland has an equivalent for Ou lauden? I think that is german dish we swiped. Beef filet rolled around a strong pickle and sweet onion braised, ladled with light gravy and served with cabbage...Mmmmmm
hmm
19 Feb 2013  #21
You mean something like Zrazy?
nytimes.com/recipes/3596/Zrazy-Zawijane-Stuffed-rolls-of-beef.htm l
AmerTchr 4 | 201
19 Feb 2013  #22
Well, got my pelmeni fixed, melted the butter, dumped smetana on it and all. No deruny but will survive I guess.

There is a place about 60m or so away that says they are a Russian kitchen but I am hesitant to try them without someone to split the food with if it doesn't go well.

Ah well, I didn't move here for the cuisine and I can make my own when I put my mind to it. At least there is smetana!

Good, marbled steak and hamburger meat would be welcome but will eventually find a place for those as well. I enjoy eating out but cooking with friends is okay after I get a good group going.

But, Provence.....uh-uh.
jon357 63 | 14,124
19 Feb 2013  #23
Well, got my pelmeni fixed, melted the butter, dumped smetana on it and all. No deruny but will survive I guess.

Do you use a pelmenitsa?
AmerTchr 4 | 201
19 Feb 2013  #24
Hmmm, I would guess not since I did exactly what I said, fixed pelmeni, melted butter on them and then spooned a big gob of smetana on top. No more, no less.
jon357 63 | 14,124
19 Feb 2013  #25
A pelmenitsa is the small frame you use for making them. In every store in Russia & Ukraine, not so easy to find here.
AmerTchr 4 | 201
19 Feb 2013  #26
No frame involved. I cooked them, drained them, then I ate them.
jon357 63 | 14,124
19 Feb 2013  #27
Did you buy ready made ones?
kaz200972 2 | 229
19 Feb 2013  #28
Cakes and the other sweets are all predictable so far and haven't offered up anything unique but maybe there's something out there still to be discovered.

I think the cakes are fantastic, some are quite unusual too. I never manage to bake them as well as my ex's Mum does, really look forward to her cakes when I'm in Poland.

Generally I'm not keen on Polish food because it's too bland for me but the cakes I think are possibly the best in Europe.

I have a book with Polish recipes from hundreds of years ago, that has some very interesting things.
AmerTchr 4 | 201
20 Feb 2013  #29
Did you buy ready made ones?

No, my GF made about 80 or so when she was here last month and froze them up for me. Boil them for 7-8 minutes and they are fantastic.

She made up the dough, cut the circles and then filled them in the kitchen. No frame was used, what does it look like? If it makes it easier I'll certainly buy one for her to use next time. Anything to speed up production.

She promised next round will be some different ones with both pork and chicken fillings, potato and mushroom fillings.
Rysavy 10 | 308
20 Feb 2013  #30
You mean something like Zrazy?

_YES!!!_
Oh boy...
Thank You! Mystery Foodie! that is one of the ways I've had it prepared. Though we usually had the blander version for all relations to accept ( a lot of people don't like mushrooms because some old nasty canned thing they ate and refuse to try other types of mushroom. : [ mmmm chantrelles*drools* )


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