THERE ARE STILL A FEW WEEKS LEFT BEFORE SPRING ARRIVES, before the sun heats up the ground once again, giving plants a chance for a fresh start. For now, we would be wise to eat fruit and vegetables that ripened naturally in last summer-autumn season, and have been neatly preserved for winter. To stay fresh, some of them might have been hidden in sand and left in cool cellars, some might have been frozen or turned into yummy jams.
BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PUT CUTS OF VEGGIES IN A JAR, POUR INTO SEASONED WATER AND PROVIDE IT WITH A LITTLE BIT OF TIME AND WARMTH?
Carrots, beets, brussel sprouts, green beans even citruses, and of course cucumbers – you can pickle them all, and enjoy eating year round! For earthy and fresh flavour reach for dill seeds and herbs. If you like strong taste add to your jar fresh horseradish and a lot of garlic. Did you know that the varieties of garlic cultivated in the east Europe are especially intense in taste due to strong winters, AND THAT IN POLAND HORSERADISH GROWS AS A WILD WEED ON MANY FIELDS? That is how most of the pickles in Poland are seasoned – with all the goodness that grows naturally nearby at the time of harvest. That includes use of highly aromatic leaves of trees such as oak and cherry tree or leaves of grapevines or currant shrub.
Although, till few years back, pickle making was something identified with skill sets that only grandmothers have and pursue, NOWADAYS CHEFS PRIDE THEMSELVES IF THEIR MENU INCLUDES HOUSE MADE PRESERVES. However, as the process of pickling requires use of high quality, fully ripe veggies (grown without artificial nutrients and pesticides), good temperature conditions, and quite a bit of space, some places choose to cooperate with farmers offering their own home-made jars of goodness. IN WROCŁAW (CAPITOL CITY OF LOWER SILESIA) AT LEAST TWO PLACES ARE FAMOUS FOR THEIR PICKLES.
FIRST IS Zdrowy Ferment run by Arkadiusz Dziakowski. You can find their jars in stores with regional food such as Regio Food or at food markets such as Eko Bazar Wrocław. They stand out by pickling the most unusual veggies and fruit such as – patty pans, lemons, tomatoes and cauliflowers. THE SECOND producer is Sznajder – a family-run business where they grow and pickle a variety of vegetables, being most famous for their sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers. Currently they also focus on teaching young generation the old ways of growing and preserving vegetables. Moreover, during high season (June-July) you can visit them, and harvest as much as one can do in one day and pickle the bounty yourself! The farm is a part of the European Culinary Heritage network and placed in a beautiful Barycz Valley Landscape Park
WOULD YOU LIKE TO EAT MORE PICKLED FOODS? Those come not only in a variety of tastes, but are also great for your belly (they contain natural probiotics and support digestion) and can strengthen your immunity system with the huge amount of vitamin C they have. Next time you are on a vacation in Poland, search for good restaurants that have house-made pickles on their menu or visit local food markets – they usually offer a great variety year round. HOWEVER, IF YOU WISH TO LEARN HOW TO PREPARE THEM YOURSELF, you can contact us and we will present you with best times and places to visit for such activity. Pickle making is a very old tradition in Poland – each region will offer you different flavours and different harvest dates.
And here, you have a simple recipe for one of the tastiest pickled salads you have ever tried! Good luck!
1 kg of shredded white cabbage
250 g green cucumbers with the skin, cut into slices
250 g chopped onion
150 g of red pepper cut into thin strips
250 g grated carrot (preferably young, with skin)
28 g rock salt
STEPS: Mix shredded vegetables with salt and leave covered with a cloth in a bowl for about 4 hours. After the veggies let the juice put them tightly in a jar and press with something heavy like a smaller jar with water, leave it covered with a cloth. After few days at room temperature, the salad is ready. To slow the fermentation processes store it in a fridge. Smacznego! – Enjoy! – Bon Appetit!
If visiting Poland and learning how to cook, bake and pickle foods sounds exciting to you, please join us on one of our 2020 POLAND CULINARY VACATIONS Visit our website www.PolandCulinaryVacations.com to view day-by-day itineraries and other trip details.
DO ZOBACZENIA W PIEKNEJ POLSCE! – SEE YOU IN BEAUTIFUL POLAND!