As weird as it sounds, this is exactly what the US diplomats in Warsaw decided to do. And they filmed their effort.
They asked a seasoned pierogi-maker, Ms Teresa Bart from Zambrow in Poland to teach them how to prepare traditional Polish mushroom, cabbage and onion pierogi. So she did.
There’s just one but. She doesn’t speak English. And their Polish is limited. Or non-existent in some cases.
Here’s the (hilarious) outcome.
Yes I was confused by that title too. But it turns out Emmy is just a video blogger (vlogger) who’s on a mission to eat her way through various international cuisines.
I didn’t know Emmy until someone sent me this video recently. It’s over a year old, so chances are you might have seen it already, after all her YouTube channel has over 150K subscribers.
Emmy was sent a rather large packet of Polish sweets by one of her viewers and in this video she bravely goes through the contents of that parcel, giving her verdict on everything. In most cases she goes ‘mmm’ shortly after biting into something, which I assume is her stamp of approval.
I loved reading the comments underneath the video (until some trolls hijacked them this morning, that is). My favourite one was: “Ptasie mleczko rulez! I can have the whole box in one day!”
So can I, so can I….
Move over, spaghetti bolognese, pierogi is about to kick your ass. Well, maybe. Europe is falling more and more in love with Polish food, according to a quality Polish daily, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
Last year Poland exported 13.3 bn euro worth of food. That’s a lot of kabanos. But Europe – and Germany in particular – wants more. In the first quarter of this year the number of food items with a “Made in Poland” sticker sold to other European countries rose by about 6.5% compared to the same period last year.
Polish food might be yummy, but it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. Not sure what it says about the changing eating habits of our European neighbours
But Poland itself loves its meats too. Oh, very much so. Euromonitor International has just published a 900-page report called “Who Eats What”. Poles are in the top 20 most carnivorous nations in the world. An average of 74kg of meat is sold per head yearly in Poland, which makes Poland the 12th most meat-friendly (if that’s the right expression) country in the world.
Although we still have a long way to go before we catch up with Argentina, where, according to the same report, almost 116 kg of meat is sold per person every year. *burp*
And what’s your favourite Polish food?
While browsing through my enormous backlog of unread blog posts I came across a short post on Bar Mleczny, another UK-based Polish blog, about Polish food in the UK.
Well, there are two pieces of news to share in fact.
First, Tesco has decided to double the amount of Polish food it offers as its customers are now buying 15% more Polish products than a year ago.
The decision follows an earlier move to cut back the number of Polish items on Tesco’s shelves after large numbers of Poles decided to go back to Poland.
An article in the Daily Telegraph quotes Tesco’s Polish foods buyer Tomasz Zarebinski, who explains the decision:
“When jobs began drying up some Poles returned home in order to try and find work but many found it equally hard over there and have decided to come back to the UK.
“With unemployment currently higher in Poland than in the UK many of those who left are more hopeful of finding work over here.
“That has directly led to the first rise in demand for Polish food here for nearly a year and as a result we have now decided to extend our range.”
The second piece of news is that you can now get your groceries from Tesco’s website in Polish as well as in English. They’ve launched www.tesco.com/polski presumably to make it easier for Poles residing in the UK to order their groceries.
I only hope that this blog has also contributed to the popularity of Polish food in the UK.
So, it’s getting colder again. The summer is almost over. Yet my supermarket is still selling some lovely blueberries. Over the past couple of months I’ve been religiously buying them fresh. I just thought my daily cereal routine – dominated by bananas, apples and sometimes raisins – needed an injection of fresh, seasonal fruit.
And obviously, every time I picked up a punnet, I was torn between two extreme feelings. On the one hand, the fact that the fruit was flown into Britain from Poland made my eco-conscious mind acutely aware of the environmental cost of having my cereal sprinkled with a bit of summer yumminness.
On the other hand though, every time I see the blueberries they remind me of my innocent youth, when no-one cared about how much carbs they ate and how purple their teeth were as long as the blueberry Danish pastries were fresh.
But here’s where my other problem begins. The blueberries I’m buying are of the non-staining variety. The ones I remember from my Polish days were juicy, sweet, yet tangy and they made your tongue and teeth dark purple for, well, for days. I remember them from our outings to the Polish seaside and from the school canteen. The jagodzianki – blueberry pastries – were most teenagers’ staple diet. The wild blueberries picked in the forests of the Beskidy Mountains were the best rewards for day-long walks with dad.
So when I eat the supermarket variety I feel slightly disappointed, a bit cheated. They are sweet, yet they’re almost tasteless. They don’t burst with colour, they don’t stain, they are safe. They actually make me miss the real ones.
So the big project for next year is to go to Beskidy, go for a walk, find some blueberries, eat as much of them as possible and then grin at everyone with purple teeth and tongue.
For now though, I’ll cling on to the supermarket ones. By doing that I’m also clinging to the last vestiges of summer…
Image © lepiaf.geo via Flickr, used under Creative Commons licence
But I’ve just come across a rather impressive selection of Polish places – or venues serving Polish food in some form – on a user review site Qype.
The good thing about it is it comes with user reviews and I have to say I’m so far impressed by the fact that most places got between 4 and 5 stars. OK, quite a few of them have so far been reviewed by just one person, which is hardly sufficient for a balanced review, but it’s fair to say that whenever you have an average score of 4 stars from 6 reviewers, chances are the place will not disappoint.
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I had no idea how many Polish places there really are in London. Some of them, like L’autre in Mayfair, are a bizarre hybrid of Polish and Mexican cuisine, some are serving Eastern European food in general, but the remaining ones are focused purely on pierogi, placki and bigos. Yum!
Qype also does a good job listing quite a few Polish shops in London, so whenever you have this sudden urge to get some kabanos, you know where to look for it online.
Image © Bartolo – via Flickr, used under Creative Commons licence