• Polish wine for sale at summer festival
  • Grapes at Jasiel winery in Jaslo, Poland
  • Poland Culinary Vacations guests visiting Adoria vineyard in Lower Silesia region of Poland
  • Delicious food shared with Poland Culinary Vacations guests in Gronkow village, Podhale, Poland.
  • Krakow Market Square, Poland.
  • Oscypki sheep cheese sold at Zakopane, Poland open market
  • Poland Culinary Vacations guests cooking in Obidowa village, Podhale, Poland.
  • Poland Culinary Vacations guests at the Culinary Institute in Cracow, Poland.
  • Chicken livers with apples from Wesele restaurant in Krakow, Poland.
  • Musicians playing for visitors heading on their rafting trip at Pieninski National Park.
  • Poland Culinary Vacations guests having lunch in Gronkow village, Podhale, Poland.
  • Poland Culinary Vacation guests rafting on Dunajec river in Pieninski National Park, Poland.
  • Boleslawiec Polish pottery from Lower Silesia region of Poland.
  • Modern Polish cuisine from Ancora restaurant in Krakow, Poland.
  • Poland Culinary Vacations guests posing in traditional costumes in Dlugopole village, Podhale, Poland.
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Archive for May, 2012

Discover Polish Artisan Cheeses and Cheesemakers

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Although Poland is not among the European leaders in exporting cheese, cheese is very popular in Poland and grocery stores sell many types of cheeses in variety of flavours. There are as many as 60 varieties listed on The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland website on the List of Regional and Traditional Products made in Poland. The most famous – oscypek has been recognized by the European Union and is a protected trade name under the European Union’s Protected Designation

Oscypki sheep cheese production process.

Oscypki sheep cheese production process.

"Oscypki sheep cheese production process"

Oscypki sheep cheese production process.

Oscypki sheep cheese production process.

Oscypki sheep cheese production process.

"Oscypki sheep cheese production process"

Oscypki sheep cheese production process.

"Oscypki sheep cheese production process"

Oscypki sheep cheese production process.

Eating cheese is seen as absolutely essential in a healthy diet. In Poland, most popular are artisan cheeses made from organic ingredients in small quantities on family farms. Polish cheeses together with breads are considered to be very unique and of high quality. Cheese is also a crucial ingredient of many traditional dishes, for example the filling of pierogi ruskie – stuffed dumplings, contains white cheese called twaróg, potatoes and onion.

Polish breakfast. Smoked cheeses, butter and jam

Polish regional appetizers. Smoked sheep cheese, butter, moskole - regional potato pancakes and cranberry jam.

Because Poles love “slow” and organic foods, there are many varieties of Polish artisan cheeses. They may be soft or hard, made from cow, sheep or goat milk, but the flavor is always rich and exquisite. Food festivals and workshops are often held in various regions of Poland where attendees learn the secrets of artisan cheese making. Every June, a very popular cheese festival,“Czas Dobrego Sera” (“Time for Good Cheese”) is held in Lidzbark Warminski, in Warmia-Mazuria region of Poland.

Here are our choices of small artisan cheese producers from around Poland, whose products are really worth tasting!

When heading to Greater Poland region, one should try Kreuzer cheese, made by awarded producer – Ekosery. Kreuzer cheese is made from fresh milk, rennet, spring water and rock salt. In Dutch forms the cheese ripens for at least one month. It is served plain or with basil, oregano or caraway seeds.

Kreuzer cheese. The winner of many awards in 2009. The name is protected under Polish Patent Office.

Awarded Cygier cheese, produced by Ekosery and protected under Polish Patent Office. Very delicate and unique. Albuminous cheese, which belongs to the category of whey cheeses. Tastes similarly to ricotta.

In Warmian- Masurian region, sheep’s milk cheese can be sampled in Sorkwity. If you like famous French Roquefort, you’ll probably love hand-made blue sheep’s milk cheese which you can taste in Ranczo Frontiera

For those who like cheeses with herbs and garlic, Sery Gradzkie (Greater Poland region) offer garlic cheese made from cow and sheep milk or other rennet.

Sery Gradzkie. Ripening. The production of artisan cheese is more complex but the flavor is very rewarding.

If you’re in Bieszczady Mountains (Subcarpathian Voivodeship), try exquisite sheep’s milk or goat’s milk cheeses, which are considered to be the healthiest. Visit Family Organic Farm “FIGA”, where all products are hand-made. You may try bryndza (traditional goat cheese) quark or Vallachai goat smoked cheese. To find out more about artisan cheeses from “FIGA” Farm visit their English website http://www.serykozie.pl/rge_eng/index.htm

Bryndza produced by "Figa" Farm. Traditional rennet cheese made of sheep’s milk. Strong and distinctive taste goes perfectly with whole wheat bread.

Poland is also famous for its white cheese called twaróg. Twaróg or twarożek is made of soured milk. It is usually served with chives, garlic or radishes. What’s more, twaróg cheese features as a basic ingredient of various foods: appetizers, cheesecakes, sweet crepes, dumplings or pasta. There‘s a whole range of twaróg cheese sold in grocery stores throughout Poland.

Polish twaróg - white cheese

Of course the best known Polish cheese is oscypek made in the southern, mountainous region of Poland.  Oscypek is smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk. The recipe is strictly protected and even the shape can’t be changed. Oscypek is produced exclusively in  the Tatra Mountains region of Poland, and is considered to be Polish delicacy. Similar to oscypek is gołka cheese however, it’s  made of cow’s milk and has a different spindle shape.

Various types of smoked Polish cheese, including oscypek, displayed in Kraków

Traditional yellow cheeses, for example, tylżycki are also very popular in Poland. Commonly sold sliced, yellow cheeses are used on sandwiches or kanapki.

Popular yellow cheese

Cheese is the basic ingredient of one of the most favourite Polish cakes – traditional cheesecake or sernik. There are many variations and recipes of this dessert but Poles prefer traditional cheesecake with thin crust and fresh cheese topping. It may be flavoured with raisins or covered with chocolate.

Traditional cheesecake with sugar glaze

If you want to bake traditional, Polish cheesecake, try this easy recipe:

Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Dough:

4.5oz or 125 gram  of margarine

3.5oz or 100 gram of sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of baking powder

10.5oz or 300 gram of baking flour

Cheese filling:

2.2lb or 1 kg of white cheese

2 glasses of sugar

4 eggs

Lemon juice (from one lemon)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a bowl knead all the dough ingredients until smooth. Roll the dough. Grease a spring form pan and press ¾ of the dough into the bottom .

Mix well cheese filling ingredients and cover the dough. On top of cheese filling add the remaining ¼ of the dough. Bake in  preheated over for 60 to 70 minutes. You can use sugar or chocolate glaze for topping.

 

Many of Poland Culinary Vacations trips include visits with artisan cheese makers and hands-on cheese making in various regions of Poland. Learn more and view pictures from past trips on our website: www.PolandCulinaryVacations.com

 


Explore Pomerania’s Culinary Riches

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Smoked fish stand in Gdansk, Pomerania region of Poland.

 
Discover the food, drink and hospitality of the people of Pomerania, a Baltic Sea coast region in Poland known mostly for its natural beauty, amber, stunning architecture in cities like Gdansk, Lech Walesa and Solidarity movement of the 1980s. But a trip to Pomerania is also an adventure for the palate!

Both Pomerania’s cities and countryside make this northern part of Poland worth exploring from the culinary side as it boasts the largest number of unique and delicious products on the national Regional and Traditional Products registry list with the Ministry of Agriculture of Poland – 182 in total, countless culinary themed festivals, cooking schools to help you hone your culinary skills and teach you a few new ones and world class restaurants specializing in regional, Polish and international cuisine.

You can start your food voyage thru Pomerania by simply visiting best restaurants – some you can find on our week-long itinerary to the region: “Coastal Cooking in Pomerania and Gdansk” plus we’ll make additional recommendations in our next blog post, tasting the unique products and dishes made by Pomerania’s artisans found on the national registry list, attend regional culinary festivals or enroll in a cooking class with a local professional chef.

Here are a few links to exciting FOOD & DRINK Experiences in the Pomerania region of Poland (some sites are in Polish only so please use Google Translate):


Don’t Miss Culinary Festivals While Visiting Poland Summer & Fall 2012

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Your summer in Poland can be all about visiting culinary festivals and tasting regional fare if you’re a foodie and want to be amazed by the diversity and deliciousness of Polish cuisine. Some festivals have already started at Easter holiday but more are planned in various regions and cities throughout Poland. One can be visiting and tasting delicious foods and meeting locals who made them at various destinations just about every weekend May through September!

"Festiwal_dobrego_smaku" - "Good Flavors Festivals"  in Poznan, Poland.

"Ogolnopolski Festiwal Dobrego Smaku" - "National Festival of Good Flavors" in Poznan, Poland.

If you’re into cheeses, and Who isn’t? head to Sandomierz, May 18 -20, 2012 for Time For Good Cheese Festival or to Lidzbark Warminski June 1 -3, 2012 for Festival of Farmers & Traditional Cheese held at the Hotel Krasicki**** Mazury which recently won “Best New Hotel Construction & Design” in Europe and the world award during International Best Hotels Awards held in London. On August 12, 2012 visit Zakopane and the Oscypki and All Cheeses Festival.

"Czas dobrego_sera" - "Time for good cheese" festival in Sandomierz, Poland.

"Czas Dobrego Sera" - "Time for Good Cheese" festival in Sandomierz, Poland.

In Chorzow, Upper Silesia region, on May 26th, 2012 join the fun at the annual Silesian Flavors Festival. Same weekend, in Lodz, 24-27 May, 2012, highly recommended annual culinary event called Festival of Good Flavors is a must to experience or wait till August 9 – 12, 2012 and head to Poznan for the National Festival of Good Flavors.

"Zasmakuj w Malopolsce" - "Taste in Lessen Poland" - invites you to visit and taste regional food of Lesser Poland region.

"Zasmakuj w Malopolsce" - "Taste in Lessen Poland" - invites you to visit and taste regional foods of Lesser Poland region.

In MalopolskaLesser Poland – with Krakow as the regional capital alone, you’ll find festivals devoted to all kinds of regional foods which all are part of the “Taste Malopolska” campaign: fruit, vegetables, honey, carp, garlic, Lisiecka sausage, cheeses, beans, cabbage, plums, potato and even chickens. This link gives more information about each of the culinary festival in Malopolska: Zasmakuj w Malopolsce  Learn more about the Delicacies of Malopolska by following this link: Delicacies of Malopolska

Check Events & Festivals in Poland Calendar posted on Poland Culinary Vacations blog before planning your weekends in Poland this summer or join us on our culinary trips where we often make stops at the regional cultural and food festivals as part of our program! Smacznego:)


Szczesliwej Podrozy i Smacznego! (Happy Travels & Bon Appétit!)
 
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