Polish Delights: Pierogi, Microbrew Beer, and Scientists

Diverse Mexico: Exploring the Contrasts
November 28, 2014
Ireland Dingle Peninsula
2014 Travel Destinations Top 7
December 17, 2014

Polish Delights: Pierogi, Microbrew Beer, and Scientists

My recent encounter with a Polish blogger named Igor reminded me how much I enjoyed Poland. He was quite surprised that we pointed to Poland as one of our favorite destinations in Europe, and the out of the ordinary places we’ve been to (Myslowice, for example) there. Poland is an excellent transition country between western and eastern Europe. It’s well developed with train tracks and highways, but also still has the authentic charm. Small towns are truly worth visiting. Bring your polish phrase book and start exploring! There are so many reasons why we all should visit Poland, but I can sum up with three words why I loved it there: pierogi, microbrew beers, and science.

 

Pierogi

 

Pierogi

A wide range of dumpling is one of the most common dishes in the world. In any culture, there’s something resembling this structure: Italian ravioli, Korean mandu, Turkish and Uzbek manti, Chinese jiaozi, and so on. Poland is not an exception. Their national dish Pierogi is a type of dumpling that’s boiled fist and then baked or fried with butter and onion. Polish pierogi are made with grounded meat, potato, vegetables and cheese. They are boiled first and fried with lard and served with fried onions, bacon, and a handful of lard pieces. Just like any other popular and traditional dish, everyone has their own secret recipe. It was one of my strong purposes in Poland to taste different types of pierogi.

Hunting down Polish cuisine in the milk bars is a one-of-a-kind experience. Thanks to milk bars (bar mleczny), it’s easy to find authentic Polish food for a reasonable price. Walking into milk bars, especially un-touristy ones, is like walking into the Communist era. They got the name milk bar, because the first milk bars in Warsaw provided milk-based food. However, the role of milk bar carried through World War II. Poland became a communist state and an ally of the Soviet Union after the fall of Nazi Germany. Most restaurants were natioinalized and closed by the communists and milk bars became the essential place to eat for the common folks. In the mid-1960s, milk bars offered cheap meals to working class people. The hard days are over, or getting better at least, but several milk bars are going strong, still beloved by the local people. Some of them even continued their business changing to a more modern style to attract tourists.

 

Beer at Spiz with lard sandwich

 

Microbrew beers

Don’t be surprised, it’s true! Poland isn’t the first place to think for microbrew beers. But the beer scene is rapidly changing, starting from the big cities. We read it somewhere before coming to Wroclaw, and went to find the very happening bar. People were sitting outside, mainly locals and Polish tourists, chatting away, drinking beer and eating sandwiches. Microbrew beer is one of the small things that I’m really passionate about, and Poland just won a big score with their beer culture. You can still find the beer from major international breweries like Carlsberg and Heineken, but more and more Polish people are opening doors of opportunities to the small brewers. Oh and don’t forget your lard sandwich. In Poland, sandwiches with lard spread (with pieces of deep fried bacon and pork skin) are popular. It’s gooey and crispy deliciousness.

 

Me with Kopernik!

 

Scientists

Before anything, for me, Poland is a country of Nicholas Copernicus and Marie Curie, astronomer and chemist, respectively. Two of the most brilliant scientists of all time came from Poland.

Nicholas Copernicus (Mikołaj Kopernik) formulated the structure of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth in the center. What a rebel, right? This model was published in 1543 right before his death (because he was afraid of the Catholic Church), and is still considered as one of the most important events in the history of science. He was from Toruń, and studied in Krakow. His statue and monuments can be found around the country including old town in Warsaw and Krakow.

Marie Curie (Maria Skłodowska-Curie) was a physicist and chemist, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and still the only person to have won in two fields, physics and chemistry. She’s most well known for techniques in isolating radioactive isotopes and discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. She named the first element she discovered after her native country. She was born and studied in Warsaw before moving to France. A big mural of Marie Curie is painted on her birthplace in Warsaw.

 

#Enterprise is a partner of Runaway Juno Media. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Juno set off for the wider world to pursue her passion for travel and storytelling. She traveled the world as an award-winning travel blogger and photographer, witnessing the everyday life of different cultures. Currently based in Anchorage, Alaska and exploring this amazing Last Frontier. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Instagram .

9 Comments

  1. It looks so delicious! I Can’t wait to visit.

  2. Emik0 says:

    THAT FOOD AND BEER LOOKS DELICIOUS.. I’VE HEARD SEEN MILKS BARS IN THE US AND THE UK AND ALWAYS WONDERED WHERE THE NAME CAME FROM. I WONDER NOW IF THE ROOT IS THE POLISH MILK BARS YOU MENTION?

  3. kami says:

    I don’t know why but Polish people have a problem with foreigners saying how great the country is, it’s so hard to believe that the place we live in can be exciting for someone… I think Poland is a wonderful place to visit and I try to promote it as much as I can since it deserves all the attention!

  4. Alex says:

    I love perogies! Those look good enough to make me want to go to Poland just to eat! Great post 🙂

  5. Uma says:

    Us Canadians were practically raised on pierogies … love to have them for dinner!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *