For those of you who missed the memo, we recently spent a fabulous week in Poland travelling around the northwest in Sopot, Gdańsk and Olsztyn. While we were there we ate some terrific food. Peruse the photos below and be prepared for major food envy.
On our first morning, we stopped in a small bakery and grabbed a couple pastries – having no clue what was inside either. One was a pizza-like concoction of cheese and tomato, the other was cheese and spinach but with a sweet dough! Needless to say, the first was gone before the second.
Sopot, one of the tri-cities of Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia, was our first stop. It’s on the Baltic coast and has beautiful white sand beaches and lots of beach-goer friendly bars and restaurants. What better way to start our Polish holiday than with fish and chips! This was flounder, lightly battered and fried and served with a traditional trio of Polish salads consisting of a beet salad, cucumber salad and carrot salad. Wash it all down with some Polish lager – it wasn’t Heineken! I swear! – and it’s the perfect end to a day at the beach.
This is salmon tartare which I had in a restaurant in the center of Sopot. Fresh and tender, it was completely delicious served with some excellent bread!
Chanterelle (or kurki in Polish) mushrooms run rampant in the forests of Poland and people often go out foraging for them. This time of year they are on every menu in some form or other, either stuffed into pierogi, made into soup, you name it! This was a chanterelle soup which was creamy, earthy and downright delicious.
My husband bravely decided to order herring (śledź in Polish) prepared in the Baltic style. It was sweet, sour and not overly fishy. Scooped on top of some soft bread, it changed both of our minds about herring forever.
Some of you might have already seen my post about smalec, but we enjoyed this street food while perusing the market stalls in Gdańsk. It’s pork fat mixed with onions and herbs, spread on bread and topped with pickled cucumbers. I bet it would be perfect after a night on the vodka!
This little morsel is something I’ve posted about previously as well. Oscypek is a smoked cheese made in the Tatra Mountain region of Poland and is served from street stalls fried up with a dollop of tart cranberry sauce. It’s just the thing to keep your strength up while shopping in Gdańsk market!
Chłodnik is a chilled beet and cucumber soup which I’ve actually been able to attempt at home since we’ve been back. If you have ever been to Poland in August, you’ll understand why this chilled soup is so popular. Not only do they love beets, but anything that cools you down when it’s 35ºC (95ºF) with 47% humidity is bound to be popular!
We couldn’t go to Poland and not have pierogi, Poland’s version of ravioli, filled with everything from kurki mushrooms, to spinach and cheese, to sausage, to buckwheat, to saurkraut. They come boiled like these or oven baked like those below. Either are completely delicious and easy to make at home, if a little time consuming!
We had a great time in Poland and filled ourselves full of the freshest seasonal food on offer. Next time we’ll have to venture further south and try out Wrocław and Krakow!