Finally, my patient readers, here comes the much-delayed final post about my Eastern Europe trip. You must have got tired of my rambling and wanton picture-posting, so I assume that a bit of Polish food eye-candy will end this dragging series in a delicious note.
I love the history of Berlin. The architecture in Budapest must be the best of all five destinations, while Prague is hands down the most beautiful city I have ever seen in mah life. But as for the the food… the proud title of The country with Best Food solely and irrefutably goes to Poland. Everything I tried was overwhelmingly delicious. Hearty, meaty, delightful, cheap, and very, very, very filling. Polish food seems to have everything I can possibly ask for when it comes to culinary delights.
Free bread with 2 kinds of spread (Czekadełko). Just.Amazing. This simple starter almost brought tears to my weary eyes and washed over my dry soul with a shower of bliss. The spread was absolutely incredible.
My photo above sucked but this is how it should look like (picture from the menu):
To properly start my Polish dinner, I had to go with the Pole’s classic: Zurek w Chlebie aka. Zurek in bread (18 zloty ~ 4.31 euro). Zurek means sour rye soup, which consists of soured rye flour, meat (boiled pork sausage, or smoked sausage, bacon or ham), and boiled egg. Buuuuuut one does not simply slurp his soup from a normal bowl, does one? Not when some culinary genius already come up with the idea of an edible bread bowl.
The soup was a bit too salty for me, but as I have grieved in numerous posts before, it looks like it is my tongue that is the problem, as everybody seems to be so acquainted with the level of salt found in food here ~.~
But who cares when you can EAT YOUR BREAD BOWL.
I was already relatively full after the soup (in case you wonder I normally eat as much as a hungry and angry T-rex), but I still had a plate of Pierogi coming. I ordered Pierogi mix (with meat, cabbage, potatoes) (12 pieces for 25 zloty ~ 6 euro) to share with my friend, thinking that I could easily stuff my face with 6 dainty dumplings…
Wrong. Well yes I managed to devour 6 pieces, but not with any ease. Pierogi is Central and Eastern Europe’s version of dumpling, made with unleavened dough with the traditional fillings of potato, sauerkraut, cabbage and mushrooms, cottage cheese, onions, or fruits. The dumplings are first boiled, then baked or fried in butter with onions before being served hot. I have an unhealthy love affair with dumplings. And my liaison with Pierogi was definitely another love at first sight. They looked gorgeous, but they even tasted better:
My favorite of all was the one with meat (surprise surprise). I didn’t really care for the sauerkraut ones, as they, again, were too salty for me to handle:
Some guys next to us were bravely feasting on the restaurant’s Meal Deal (200 zloty ~48 euro). Costly, you think? Read this first:
The wooden tray was mega thunder huge. 4 people can’t finish it I tell you. Even sexy strong men cannot finish this tray (well, maybe the bf could, with my help:-). I’d say that it would leave 6 hungry eaters with cracking bellies.
My belly’s seam was bursting but I had to help my travel mates… The blood sausage was bloody good. Chicken wings were decent. The ribs were a bit dry, sadly.
But wait… there is more! Dessert, guys, don’t forget the dessert.
I chose Crepes with cottage cheese (15 zloty ~ 3.6 euro) because I love both crepes AND cottage cheese. My order came out looking ever so beautiful:
Frankly, it was one of the best desserts I had ever tried anywhere. The crepes were delightfully chewy, neither too thin nor too thick. The cottage cheese had a sophisticated taste and scent to it, which was exactly how cottage cheese should be. The powdered sugar added the right amount of sweetness to the treat, while the tart strawberry sauce balanced out each and every bite with its spot-on level of acidity and intoxicating smell.
I also tried some Apple pancakes with honey (15 zloty ~ 3.6 euro). It was oh so delish, but at the same time felt dense and too sweet. The apple pancakes made me appreciate my crepes even more, for the strawberry sauce was indeed a smart touch to perfect the divine treat.
My huge meal left me utterly full for the entire next day. I could have gone on without eating, but I still had some zloty left and I did want to try more Polish food. For dinner, I fished out the last coins in my purse for a bowl of Chicken broth (10 zl ~ 1.35 euro) for my friend:
and a Potato pancake with mushroom cream sauce (26 zl ~ 6.2 euro) for me:
The pancakes were, needless to say, gigantic. The cream sauce was, well, creamy and packed full of flavors with a generous amount of mushrooms. The pancakes were thick and heavy, but cooked well. It did taste like potato, which was great: