Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Randon Travel Notes 2 - Pierogi in Krakow - March 2003

While living in The Netherlands another place Michael & I had the pleasure of visiting was Krakow.
My mothers side of the family is Polish & I had promised myself that I would not leave Europe
this time without a visit to Poland
Growing up I spent a lot of time at my grandparents after school & on holidays & it seemed that
everything centered around food. They very rarely went out unless it was to the shops or for some other neccessity
Instead they sat at home & the kitchen was always a welcome place full of beautiful aromas
& there was always something wonderful in the fridge or simmering away on the stove for us to gobble up
I will always miss the lovely traditional food she cooked, Pierogi, sauerkraut, home made noodles for her lovely chicken soup, borchst, cabbage rolls, pancakes, home made plum jam & donuts to name a few treats she regulary cooked up. And of course there were always lollies
& chocholates to hand out & in summer a jar of home made lemon tea was ready & waiting on the kitchen sink
If I was staying there on school holidays I was even allowed to help out with the cooking, now that was fun!
When I was in primary school my grandma would evev walk down at play time & bring me hot treats, my friends were always very jealous!
While the women sat in the kitchen talking & eating the men would sit in the lounge room watching sport & my papa would pop in at some stage to offer us all beer or home made 'vodka' - an offer not often taken up for for of what it would do to your insides!
This is obviosuly were my love of food & cooking began
Anyway one of the things I was looking forward to in Poland of course was sampling the food & comparing it to that of my grandma. Pierogi was always the big time favourite & hers was made with a mashed potato & fried onion filling & then served with huge lashings of sour cream, sometimes she also made it with sauerkraut or plums, though for us kids it always had to be the potato!
When in Krakow I sampled many pierogi & they were quite similar & very yummy though most were larger & had different fillings, cheese or potato & cheese or even meat & not a drop of sour cream to be found anywhere, usually they were topped with fried onion instead
Also had lots of other traditional food & it was all delicious, the Polish people are very friendly & everything was amazingly cheap.
Of course we also drank lots of vodka too, they have hundreds of flavours & most are not like the vodka we have here at home, more liquer like, a couple of restaurants we ate in even brought out their 'home made' specialities, great to try out & a lot gentler than my papa's though still packing a bit of punch!
There is so much vodka that one night even ordering coffee we ended up with Vodka & no coffee to be seen anywhere
Unfortunately I hadnt started up this blog when I was there so I have no names of the places we tried to recommend to you all
All in all a great place to visit & quite different to what most Aussies would be used to, would love to go back & explore further

And oh yeah, there are lots of sights & interesting things to do too, its not just the food!

Sadly my grandparents both passed away recently, they will be missed dearly by the whole family & their memories will live on in our hearts forever

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