Monday, November 09, 2009

Hale Mirowska, don't you love markets?

Firstly, SORRY. These photos are about a month old, so if you are in Warsaw, don't get too excited thinking that you are in heaven again. You probably won't be finding these fruit and vegetables about at the moment. This was at the end of summer and the very beginning of Autumn. It had been great warm weather for a nice period, so the berries were bursting with flavour. There had been a little light rain for a few days so the Mushrooms were going mental, and the mild days had brought the grannies out in full force.
Then again I don't think that the weather ever effects Warsaw grannies. They are hardened by many a Northeastern European winter, maybe a war or two and a few odd years of communism. Nope, weather to them just means a difference in hair attire and which pair of sensible shoes to wear.To me, the two main things about Polish food are Ogorki (aka pickles, gherkins or salted cucumbers), and Kapusta (aka sauerkraut, pickled cabbage or fart fuel). These are not just, to me, the staples of life in Poland, but also the smells you most often get walking in and around an apartment block or when squashed into the armpit of a granny on the tram.
The mushrooms are something that Polish people are proud of, more than anywhere else I have seen. Kurki are literally 'little hens', or more accurately, Chanterelle mushrooms. They are easily my favourite mushroom. Making delicious sauces for any meat or fish.
The Borowik (aka bolete or porcini mushroom) are really meaty sort of mushrooms, I swear smurfs lived in these.Rydze (aka saffron milk cap or red pine mushroom) are mushrooms that we tried in soups and sauces, but compared to the other two, were just a little bit plain. I am sure I will find a way of making them taste great... problem is I have to wait till next season!
Podgrzybek is kind of a small boletus (porcini) but a slightly different family. We don't know much about them as we haven't eaten these.
The end of season brings in the dark and red berries. Early in summer is the cherry time, but towards the end of the season as the dappled light has warmed the little raspberry, blackberry and currant bushes we get these beautiful and fragrant fruits of the forest.
The colours make you just want to just grab them and shove them in your mouth, don't they?

So to move away from the appetising and fabulous smelling, you can head to the world of Ryby (fish of course), here you get Salmon, Trout, and Perch.However, there are always options. If you don't like your fish fresh, then try it smoked! You see here it only costs 10 zloty more (per kg) to buy a smoked trout than a fresh one. Which in other currencies it is 2.4 Euro, 2.1 pounds, 3.9AUD, or 3.6USD. Quite a bargain I think, but then again I am addicted to smoked foods and it probably is shortening my life. But hey, you have to eat, right, why not enjoy it! On the day when I took these photos we had Jason and Simon over from the UK/Australia depending on how you look at it. Marty was just about to take them to the museum of the Warsaw Uprising, as I had classes and we would do a short stroll through the old Ghetto area. Sometimes I wonder about Warsaw and what there is to do, then I think about how easily we can take people around and show them parts of the city that most tour groups wouldn't see. It is then that I smile about all the people (Varsavians alike) who told me that it is a boring city. There is so much hidden in Warsaw, that it never ceases to amaze me.


Eva and Agnes said...

Thank you for your post. We are from Warsaw, but live in the US and we miss Polish produce and markets! Fruit and veggies in the US are somewhat tasteless, at least in Chicago!

Gee Em said...

No problem Eva and Agnes. If there is anything you want me to photograph I can do that too. :) I am hoping to do a small series on produce from my local market in Ursynow too. :) We are just getting into the start of Jagody season! So exciting! Feel free to follow the blog to keep up with any new developments :)

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