Szarlotka is the name of Polish apple pie. There is another item in Polish cuisine that goes by the same name and that features two of the same ingredients – apples and cinnamon. The third igredient is Żubrówka, probably the most famous Polish vodka out there, the one with a leaf of bison grass in the bottle. When szarlotka doesn’t refer to a pie, it is a drink, Poland’s favourite way of drinking Żubrówka when used as a cocktail ingredient and not enjoyed alone.
Six months ago I wrote a post about my favourite eateries in Krakow and that post was an absolute win. I shared it around and heard back from friends visiting the Polish city that it had actually helped them more than random reviews on TripAdvisor. I guess that word of mouth from a friend, even though in the form of a blog post, is still perceived as pretty valuable advice. So I recently returned to Krakow for a wedding and decided to do it again and indulge in my favourite activity while in Krakow – eating out – for the sake of my blog. Continue reading
As a person who has a hard time managing to keep in touch despite loving human interaction (it sounds insane, I know), I am very grateful to my friends, who acknowledge this feature of mine, accept it, and manage to stay friends. Having lived in more than one place, I have made friends in many countries and sadly these friendships are cursed with long distance and my poor skills at decently keeping in touch. Yet, even in such circumstances, some of them do last. That one Skype conversation a year is really all it takes, and when we get to meet in person it’s always fantastic. So on my yearly Skype call with the friend this post is about I got the news that she got engaged and last week I flew to Poland for her wedding. Continue reading
I visited Warsaw, the Polish capital city, for the second time in 2015. Just like the first time, the main reason behind my visit was a music concert. The first time I had arrived on an early summer afternoon, just days before the UEFA Euro 2012 would kick off in that very city. Everybody had told me that Warsaw was grey and ugly, but I found it exciting and vibrant and unexpectedly colourful.
Krakow is the second largest city in Poland. It is a very important place for me for two reasons. First, it is where my mom was born and where my maternal family still lives. All my life I have always been spending a month every year in Krakow visiting family (my parents’ annual leave, basically). Second, I have lived in Krakow myself for two years and a few months, between 2012 and 2014. Over those two years I got to explore the city much more than I did as a kid and found a few places I like to back go to whenever I come back.
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). Continue reading
Blueberry pierogi are the fruity version of one of Poland’s culinary landmarks: pierogi, a.k.a. Polish dumplings. I think that the first time I had blueberries in my life was in this form. It must have been the summer of 1990, more or less, and my Polish grandma had produced dozens of batches of pierogi, like she always does, so that the whole family that day had blue tongues and lips. I don’t have clear memories of that, but I’m sure that I was playing on the carpet and my mom knelt down to me and made me taste blueberries for the first time in my life. Warm blueberries. Continue reading