Monday, July 2, 2012

From Poland, With Love


Poland may not be the first country you think of when you think of cutting edge cuisine or classic confections, but set those preconceptions aside for a moment. Our officemate Nika recently went on a trip to Poland and she came back with an array of glorious goodies. 
With quirky packaging and funky, difficult to pronounce names, selecting a Polish treat to try was intimidating. But amongst the bunch, there were a few standouts. If you ever find yourself faced with a deliciously daunting selection of Polish sweeties (like we did this week) look for the following:

  1. Krówka –  A classic Polish confection, Krówka, translates to “little cow”. The creamy, bite-sized fudge-like treat usually comes with wholesome holsteins on the yellow striped paper wrap, no matter the brand. It has a sweet cooked caramel flavor but with much grainier texture than most American candies. It has an intensely sweet exterior that’s almost crisp, and a more liquid caramel in the center. 
  2. Pistachio – The one in the big bag of candy that jumped out, probably just because the word is the same in English. But it jumps out for more reasons than just its simple name. It’s super creamy milk chocolate square that, once bitten, gives way to a flowing pistachio-flavored center. Like many of the other Polish treats we tried, it was powerfully sweet, but had a wonderful balance between the smooth, salted, nutty interior and milky chocolate.
  3. Sliwka w Ezekoladzie – Plum in chocolate. An unusual combination to an American, to be sure, but one that works surprisingly well, which must be why they’re such a traditional Polish sweet. The plum is candied, giving it a smooth, jelly-like texture that is much softer and less chewy than the standard gummy candies in the U.S. With a thin, somewhat dry chocolate coating, this candy has contrasting textures and flavors that at first, seem a bit odd, but somehow manage to play off each other quite well. Fruity jellies in a variety of flavors – everything from raspberry to black currant – are quite popular in Poland, and often come coated in a thin layer of dark chocolate.
Wonderful trip treats! Thanks, Nika, for the introduction to these tasty, unusual confections.

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