A Polish Christmas buffet

A buffet is called in Polish szwedzki stół, literally the Swedish table. This description is very much fitting: on special occasions the Swedes arrange their food on a table and every guest takes as much food as they want. I’m sure this way of serving food has something to do with the Swedish sense of moderation behind the concept of lagom (everyone takes just enough and therefore ensures that there is enough for everyone) and the Swedish sense of equality (you are not serving anybody else but yourself, thus ensuring that all people are on the same level).

For her goodbye party before she flies back to Canada for the holidays, my Polish Canadian friend organized a buffet lunch that featured several Polish delicacies. Together with our Australian friend I helped her prepare some of the food, including the hand made pierogi. After showing her skills at making blueberry pierogi back in the summer and now making those filled with potatoes and cheese, our Aussie friend is now no less Polish than us.

The highlights of the lunch to me were the ruskie pierogi and the sałatka jarzynowa, a salad made of diced boiled vegetables and eggs seasoned with home made mayo, salt and pepper. Another classic were the kotlety panierowane: fried breaded chicken fillets (we made chicken instead of the more traditional pork). Something that never goes amiss at a Polish Christmas party is fish, the traditional fish of choice being the carp. Since we’re in Sweden, my friend offered a smoked rainbow trout from Dalarna that she bought at the Christmas market we had in Falun a couple of weeks ago. Lastly, no Polish table is complete without a side of boiled potatoes with dill.

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Traditional Polish Christmas songs – kolędy – were playing in the background as we were feasting on all this Polish goodness. It’s funny that ever since I moved out of Italy there has always been a hint of Polish traditions in my Christmases.

Christmas is just around the corner and apparently it will be an unusually mild Christmas for Sweden, with temperatures well over zero and no snow at all. I had hoped for something more picturesque since this will be my parents’ first Swedish Christmas, but I guess we’ll have more luck for snow another time.

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