A Travellerspoint blog

Wasted in Warsaw

sunny 16 °C

The No1 Tripadvisor pick for Warsaw is the Lazienki Royal Park, so we happily handed over a few bucks and wandered in. Big mistake, (or was it), because we had inadvertently stumbled into one of Europe;s biggest beer festivals...
This was worse than when we accidentally booked a hotel in Perugia in the midst of Europe's biggest chocolate fair a few years ago...
A couple of hours later we stumbled out of the beer fest and went in search of food. We are what we eat so, as we meander the world one restaurant at a time, we truly become global citizens. However, it is perfectly possible today to travel worldwide without ever leaving home gastronomically. Here in this world class shopping mall in the centre of Krakow we can buy food, fashions and goods from all over the globe. The French boulangeries are particularly good...
Such is the power and pervasiveness of international marketing, and the demands of tourists and travellers, that restaurant menus and supermarket shelves worldwide are heavily weighted with foodstuffs beloved by consumers in First World countries.
Even in truly remote parts of the world we have found all manner of recognisable products. It is increasingly difficult to discover places not serviced by British, French and German supermarkets, Irish Pubs, Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants, and American superstores like Costco and WalMart. Poland is no exception - from Mark's and Spencer's to C&A: from Starbucks to KFC, almost every global chain has set up shop here...
But we wanted local so we went in search of two truly Polish dishes - pierogi and sausages. Pierogi are fundamentally pasta pockets with a variety of stuffing. They are in essence a Polish form of Russian pelmeni, Chinese gyoza and Italian ravioli. But, as Shakespeare might have said in Romeo and Juliet, “A dumpling by any other name is still a dumpling.” However, the Poles have taken dumplings to new heights and restaurants in Krakow offer fifty or more varieties of pierogi with fillings as interesting as curried goat and cappuccino with white cheese We had some pretty simple meat dumplings, some boiled and some fried, with blue cheese and mushroom sauces...
Next - sausages. We had seen plenty of sausages in the markets but we searched vainly for a local restaurant serving true Polish sausages. In the end we had to make do with dining in a typical Polish sushi bar...
C'est la vie.

Posted by Hawkson 09:39 Archived in Poland

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Looks like you are having a really difficult time of it. With choices that is. We truly are one big global community. Happy noshing.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Ah, Pierogis--soul food of my youth in Saskatchewan.
Nice sushi, though. Looks like a touch of tuna in the rolls but the white fish is interesting. Good sized blob of wasabi.

by R and B

The good Colonel doesn't look too out of place. I remember the incongruity of the Colonel's life size maniken, all white bearded and grey haired, standing outside the first KFC in Kyoto in the mid-70's. But who knew then that sushi woukd make its way to Warsaw. So much for worries about culinary imperialism.

by Tom Whalley

memories of LVIV in Oshawa - dancing, pierogies, sausage and sour cream. Strong grandmothers in the kitchen that you didn't dare mess with, throwing huge pans of food in the oven and lifting them out again.

by Janet

Remember the woman who sold perogies at the Gabriola ferry?SO delicious! We're really watching this trip with interest - Steve is half-Polish and this country is definitely on our list.

by Ginny Miller

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