A taste of the Polish countryside

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The Blue Lake, in lower Silesia, Poland.

 

I was proven delightfully— and deliciously— wrong about Polish food. In particular, that it isn’t vegetarian friendly. And sure, outside of cheese pierogis, cabbage salad, beetroot soup and an endless array of potatoes, most of the food isn’t very vegetarian friendly.

Until this past weekend, when I tried two dishes that were amazing, and very authentically Polish.

I was on a field trip with my Polish school— the aims were to have several intensive Polish classes, followed by an outdoor grill session, and a hike across Polish countryside to the colorful lakelets near the village of Rudawach Janowickich in lower Silesia. And between the Polish conversation, the lovely countryside and the general camaraderie, it was really awesome. (Also, we stayed in this really lovely bed and breakfast in the countryside.)

All classrooms should have a fireplace.

All classrooms should have a fireplace.

Not to say there weren’t some rough spots. For example, on the first night, while my cohorts got kielbasa to barbecue, I had shish kebabs… with carrots and parsnips. Ever try to grill a tough root vegetable over an open flame? No? Consider yourself lucky. I did make do with tomatoes, cheese and creative use of tinfoil, but parsnips on the grill ain’t something I’m going to try again.

Fields of yellow flowers in Poland.

Fields of yellow flowers in Poland.

The next day we walked about 20 kilometers to the Colorful Lakes— which as worth it, for the rolling fields of yellow flowers and the interesting lakes (they’re colored from old ore deposits from mines in the area.) But by the time we got back, I was super hungry.

Luckily, there was a big pot of Polish barszcz (borscht) waiting. Normally, Polish barszcz is thin and sad, and tastes more like vinegar than beets. However, this stuff was amazing— piled with fresh dill, hearty with carrots, beets and perfectly cooked white beans.

Forgive the picture— I was hungry, so I tore into the soup before I thought to grab my camera...

Forgive the picture— I was hungry, so I tore into the soup before I thought to grab my camera…

And next there was zucchini baked with tomatoes and cheese. And all was forgiven for trying to put parsnips onto an open flame.

Recipes upcoming for both!

Look closely at the waterfall...

Look closely at the waterfall…

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