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Strawberry, the favorite June fruit in Krakow


Krakow Foodstuffs 

There is everything in Krakow shops nowadays, even if it may happen that your favorite artichoke variety is not to be found at every street-corner grocer’s. Poland being one of European major food producers, local staples generally hold their ground against imports. Yet the latter have largely taken to themselves the up-market niches.

 

Bread. Look for the output of a family-owned bakery. Some are in the business for the third generation or more. A few of them run their own baker’s shop – they happen in the downtown area too – while the rest mostly supply smaller grocers throughout the city.

Vegetables. Potatoes are Poland’s staple food alongside the bread. Cabbage, carrots, beans, and onions are other  native vegetables popular round-the-year. Polish field tomatoes, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumbers, leeks, etc. are delicious yet seasonal. For the rest of the year vegetables are available owing to greenhouses and imports from the Mediterranean but it is not the same. Best produce usually can be found at any of Krakow’s several marketplaces. But the exotic likes of yams and cassava are easier to come by in a supermarket.

Fruits. The southern half of Poland, with Krakow as its capital city, is the Western Europe’s major supplier of fruits – apples, plums, pears, cherries, etc., and berries – strawberries, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, etc. Yet the juiciest and tastiest varieties tend to be unfit for the long-haul shipping, and they are meant for the local market. Krakow dwellers also prize much such forest crops as wild raspberries, blackberries, hazelnuts, and above all – bilberries. The city’s marketplaces offer the best choice, yet inexperienced customers may fail to spot inferior merchandise. Imported apples, pears, etc. as well as the fruits of hotter climes are also widely available, albeit those most exotic are sold chiefly in hypermarkets.

Dairy Products. Most Poles relish milk goods churned out by the country’s dairy producers. And those wealthier often opt for a French or an Italian cheese twice the price of the domestic equivalent. Yet some argue with good reason that there is nothing like milk and homemade cottage cheese, butter, and cream fresh from the farm. They are still available at Krakow marketplaces, sometimes sold directly by peasant women. Among local specialties rank the “bryndza” cottage cheese and the “oscypek” hard cheese, the originals made of ewe milk.

Meat. Poultry, namely chicken and turkey, seems most popular with Krakow consumers nowadays, before beef and pork. Veal also has its admirers. Yet game is largely a dine-out stuff. Lamb and mutton are also found mostly in restaurants, and few native gourmands relish them. The Krakow butcher’s shops - few nowadays - sell local produce, while supermarkets may well offer meat processed in the other half of Poland or even abroad. 

Meat Products. Poland is famed worldwide as the country of origin of kielbasa. Yet the word denotes all sausages here. As typically Polish are recognized the spicy ones, smoked and then dried (try the finger-thin “kabanos”!). Unfortunately, Polish ham isn't as delicious as it used to be. Such domestic specialties as the “salceson” headcheese, the “kiszka” black pudding, and the “pasztetowa” liverwurst are recognized delicacies but it's hard to find good quality. And – surprise, surprise – at the same time the sausages and ham made of poultry (yes!) in the Krakow region have become very popular throughout Poland after their invention in the 1990s.

Seafood. Fish are quite popular, also freshwater ones. And carp seems as much a Christmas Eve must in Poland as turkey is a Thanksgiving one in the USA, while herring serves as a traditional fast-days meal. Shellfish are available in Krakow’s shops but hardly a great treat for most its inhabitants.

Mushrooms. Poles are great connoisseurs of wild fungi of which edible boletus varieties are most sought after. Fresh mushrooms are available at Krakow marketplaces in summer and autumn, whereas dried or pickled ones throughout the year.

Eating the Krakow Way
It is hearty indeed.

Krakow Restaurants

Krakow is Poland’s mecca of gourmets thanks to its many excellent restaurants.

Popular Krakow Dishes /Recipes/
Krupnik Barley Soup, Christmas Borsch, Krakow Duck, Zrazy Beef Rashers

Food Festivals in Krakow


Shopping in Krakow


Krakow Beverages
Everybody’s thirst to be satisfied.

 

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