Today Robin and I visited Gdansk, Poland– this stop certainly had significant meaning to me. All four of my Grandparents were born in Poland in the 1890’s.
As a second generation American, I tried to keep going some of the Polish tradions I joyfully experienced during my childhood and early adult years. Most of those traditions surrounded food– and most of the Polish food came at the Holidays and family events.
The one Polish tradition that I have passed to my children and have begun to establish with my older grandchildren are specialty Polish dishes. For our family, we make Polish dumplings called pierogi in several varieties. We enjoy fresh and smoked kielbasa sausage, occasionally we will add a cabbage, rice and minced pork dish called golabki .
As we visited Poland for the first time– the question arose how authentic was our cooking? So we chose to take the test in Gdansk (see photo)
Traditional kielbasa translated perfectly — identical tastes when you buy from a good German or Polish butcher. The pierogi was another story, one Gdansk restaurant bragged about 85 different fillings—- Although we have experimented at our house the tradition has been to make Potato and Sauerkraut filling– we have tried to introduce minced meat and jalapeño as a SoCal twist– still work in progress.
The fillings offered this morning were Cod, Pumpkin and Goose– we chose the goose and it was wonderful. The filling was seasoned and served with a light mushroom sauce. The one aspect of our taste test that did work was the dumpling itself– our receipe was as good or better– but, we have a long way to go the the fillings.