Bigger than bigos

Just before Christmas, Nippntuck’s obi took a little festive (work-related) trip to Warsaw, a first jolly to Poland and a real opportunity to do some excellent turbo-calorie-loading. After all, it’s cold out there.

20111228-004107.jpg
Warsaw: Christmas magic (cold not pictured)

Polish food being relatively new territory for me, but something that’s thankfully been blossoming in London over the last few years, I think Poland and I think pierogi, those little meaty dumplings that mean serious business.

A Polish friend of mine once used to describe gyoza as pierogi’s bitch – perhaps I’m as biased as she is, but I would beg to differ one the grounds that these are two very different beasts indeed – one being doughy and fatty deliberately, the other equally deliberately trying to do the opposite. However, I’m yet to discover how pierogi would work with soy sauce and whether gyoza can get down with some wholegrain mustard.

Anyway, so in those magical 29 hours spent in chilly Warszawa, I didn’t actually eat any pierogi. Which I suppose would be like going to New York and not having a burger, going to Paris and not having a croissant or going to Peckham and not having someone grunt at you.

Christmas market kielbasa

I did, however, discover something new. Firstly, that sometimes people serve pints of beer with a straw in:

My Polish pint with a straw: any suggested explanations welcome

Secondly, the joy of fat consumption when faced with serious, serious cold (look, I’m from Essex – my idea of cold is having to wear a jumper). This was brought home in a slightly garish bar in the old town with a plate of roast duck and apple, the duck juicy and seriously plentiful, with a perfectly crispy skin. Some apple slices and potatoes had clearly taken advantage of the canard’s fat, while my vegetable intake consisted of a few token slices of tomato – but we save that business for the summer.

Duck: like wearing a coat, but more delicious

Having not had time since to pull together a recipe myself, here’s something similar from Beata Zatorska:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/apr/08/roast-duck-with-apples-recipe

In the spirit of Polski good times, expect a review of my local bar mleczny soon…and maybe a recipe for bigos (if such a thing is allowed to be written down).

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