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Author Topic: Poland: Land of the Po  (Read 1490 times)

Kagus

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Poland: Land of the Po
« on: January 31, 2019, 12:55:32 pm »

So I've got a ticket to go see the Rammstein concert in Chorzów in July, and as this will be my first time in Poland I wanted to see if anyone had advice on stuff to do, see, and/or eat.

I don't know any Polish other than "na zdrowie" and "kurwa". While this will likely take me rather far, I'd like to try my hand at a few other phrases to at least show the language some respect. I doubt I'll be able to nail the pronunciation of Brzęczyszczykiewicz before I go, but I can at least say Grzegorz with some amount of confidence... So there's that.

I'm a little uncertain how long I'll be staying, but it likely won't be more than a few days; a week at most. I'm heading out with a friend, a friend of a friend, and that friend of a friend's group of friends. We're going to rent a house for the occasion and likely spend most of the time drinking. Seeing as this group of people is primarily made up of Poles, plus one Finn, I realize that trying to keep up will likely result in my death. It's a risk I'll just have to take.

Anyways, as such, I'm probably not going to be doing a lot of hiking or indeed traveling around lots of different parts of Poland looking at monuments.


So far, the only things that are on the "To Do" list for certain are:

-Eat pierogi
-Drink some proper Polish kwas
-Żurek, perhaps?
-The concert
-Grab as many bottles of walnut vodka as I'm legally capable of bringing back to Norway (and a bottle or two to have while I'm there)
-Keep an eye out for winged hussars

Haspen

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2019, 02:36:15 pm »

I actually worked in retail with alcohols, Soplica in particular. Therefore pointers:

If you can get your hands on them, Quince ("Pigwowa"), and Bilberry (european blueberry, "Jagodowa") variants are also very liked and tasty. Blueberry is often only a seasonal variant (for summer months) so you might be just in time to grab a bottle!

Walnut variant has certain bittery taste that not everyone likes.

It's not actually a 'vodka' per se, but a 'nalewka', a spirit-based mixture infused with fruit essence (basically you marinate fruits in spirit and sugar, then after several months you filter this drink into bottles).

Are you flying in or sailing in?

This is important, I live in Gdańsk, one of two most common destinations for Scandinavian ferries (we have direct ferry lines to Copenhagen and Helsinki, for example).
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Kagus

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2019, 02:46:39 pm »

Flying into Warszawa, still working on the exact dates, but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be landing there.

As for the walnuts, I was introduced to the spirit by a Polish fellow at a wedding reception in Scotland. He'd snuck a bottle of the walnut nalewka (he referred to it as walnut vodka, probably for the sake of simplicity), and two bottles of a hazelnut variant from the same company. Then the distribution of shots started.

I don't remember many details from that night, but I've been on a burning search to find more of that walnut ambrosia ever since. I'm almost certain it was Soplica, the label on the bottle looks right when compared to the blurry memory in my head.

Will definitely keep an eye out for the berry variants!

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2019, 03:08:00 pm »

Oh yes, hazelnut is 2x better than walnut, it might be the ambrosia you look for. Soplica is one of very few (and definitely most common/popular) producers of walnut/hazelnut variants, so its a safe bet.

While in Warszawa, you might want to check out the SUPREME SOVIET LANDMARK Pałac Kultury, it's old, dirty, but its big and fun.
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Kagus

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2019, 10:29:59 am »

Right, so, I've gotten my plane tickets arranged (more or less, the times on them have been switched around a few times since ordering them), but I've recently learned that the "Let's all pitch in on renting one big place for everyone" plan has had encountered some slight issues... Issues such as not having happened at all.

So now we're going to try and chat with the Finn's Polish friend to try and see about finding somewhere to stay up in Kraków. Why Kraków if we're going to a concert in Chorzów? Because everything even remotely in the vicinity has apparently been booked solid.


On the plus side, I've jotted down golonka and oscypek for the "To Do" list. I can count that as a plus.

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 11:35:45 am »

Oscypek is pretty easy to describe!

It's like feta cheese, but different.
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Kagus

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 11:39:10 am »

That's all I needed to know, honestly. The fact that it's smoked just makes it even more attractive.

Il Palazzo

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 12:23:46 pm »

Jesus, why golonka, though? It's more hideous than lutefisk-stuffed haggis. It's like 50% blubbery gelatinous fat. I can imagine it having some appeal if one's a burly coal miner made in equal parts of chest hair and vodka, which I presume you aren't.

(btw, watch out for other flavours of Soplica - the lemon one is shite)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 12:28:01 pm by Il Palazzo »
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Kagus

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 12:36:09 pm »

See, I'm one of those weirdos who loves the funky cuts like tendons and fatty skin pieces. I also quite liked haggis the one time I tried it. Also the representative photo on Wikipedia includes grilled sliced oscypek and horseradish, and I dunno... I like fatty meats, sheep cheese, and horseradish; so it just kinda spoke to me.

EDIT: I mean, if you'd rather recommend the milk skins...
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 12:38:43 pm by Kagus »
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Il Palazzo

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2019, 03:05:26 pm »

I don't know anything about milk skins.
But here's a few other more or less traditional culinary recommendations/suggestions:

Gołąbki - basically cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice.
Schabowe - what everywhere else goes by the name of schnitzel, but somehow everyone around here thinks it's traditional Polish food.
Chleb ze smalcem - Bread and lard. Magically better than it sounds. Great snack when you're drinking. A few pubs in Krakow serve it alongside shots.
Barszcz z krokietami - Krokiety are pancake rolls stuffed with meat/mushrooms/sauerkraut and served with borscht (barszcz).

All of those carry a certain flair of the bygone era, when everything was unsophisticated, savoury, and good with vodka.
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Kagus

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2019, 04:43:48 pm »

All of those carry a certain flair of the bygone era, when everything was unsophisticated, savoury, and good with vodka.
Now that's my kinda language... I've always had a soft spot for "peasant food". Good, hearty, simple meals are my jam.


Anyways, teensy update... As it turns out, the Finnish bartender (who is the only person on this trip that I know) will not be coming along, on account of her ex having sold her concert ticket to someone else. I contacted the Polish chick who is an acquaintance of the Finn, and will try to work out some sort of meet-and-greet before, y'know, ending up in Poland together...

This also means I don't have a drinking buddy trying to pace themselves with me against the Polish supremacy. So yes, I will probably die.

Managed to find a room, at least. It's meant for two people, because I figured the Finnish chick would pick up the only single-person room they had left in the building... So I guess I'm treating myself to a big room, eh? Still massively cheaper than single hotel rooms here in Norway, good grief. I have to admit though, I found the room layout to be kind of hilarious... What with there being a metal ladder smack in the middle of the room up to a landing where the second bed is located. Don't think I've ever seen that kind of design before, but I can't argue with the practicality, heh.

Il Palazzo

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Re: Poland: Land of the Po
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2019, 09:07:50 pm »

I've just taken note of the date of the gig. Here's a suggestion to ponder: stay a few days longer and go to the Pol'and'Rock* Festival. It's a Woodstock-inspired massive hippie-rock-punk-reggae-everythingandthekitchensink melange of concerts, camping and (ir)responsible drinking. All entirely free of charge and really, rather very well behaved for something seemingly built around the idea of misbehaving.
I mean, Rammstein is great and all, but this thing here is something you can only get in Poland.

*the name is groan-worthy, alas.
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