As in years past, this month I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. 2016 marks my fifth anniversary, so to celebrate, I’m hosting Friday Blog-Ins here in San Diego; you can find out more info about where we’re meeting each week on my A to Z Challenge page.
My monthly theme is Chicago From A to Z, so stay tuned from Monday to Saturday for new posts on the Windy City. Or sign up for my mailing list (delivered weekly, on Fridays) so you don’t miss a thing!
Kielbasa is a delicious Polish-style sausage that I grew up eating on most major holidays (Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving). Why? Because it’s delicious. Also, because my family is half Polish. (I dare you to guess the other half!)
Chicago claims about 6.7% of its population – or approximately 1.5 million people – are of Polish ancestry. Indeed, Polish is the third most spoken language in the city, behind English and Spanish. So put that in your rura (pipe) and palić (smoke it)!
Or, better yet, smoke this:
But definitely DON’T smoke this:
Vegan kielbasa? How is this even a thing? You can’t eat sausages if you’re vegan, guys. Sorry, but sausages are MEAT in tube form, not tofu or seitan or whatnot. The sausage is traditionally encased in ANIMAL INTESTINES, too, so what are you even thinking trying to un-meat this meat?!
Furthermore, I must inquire: if you don’t eat or approve of meat, why are you so fixated on eating meat REPLICA products like this, you silly vegans? Just stick with the plants and grains and you’ll be fine. And if you get a hankering for kielbasa, go for the real thing. It’s way less GMO, for one…
BUT I DIGRESS.
Pass the pierogi
If you are a Polish food fanatic, pierogi are another tasty item you’re likely to be familiar with:
These little dumplings could contain any number of fillings, but typically involve potatoes, cheese, more meat, sauerkraut, or even fruit like blueberries (although, frankly, I consider the “dessert” pierogi to be weird).
The savory pierogi should be topped with fried onions, sour cream and/or butter. I have also been known to use the rather unorthodox topping of dijon or spicy brown mustard, or even Dijonaise! Because I’m a risk-taker, and I am willing to experiment.
Another stuffed food you should try when experimenting with Polish food is gołąbki, which are cabbage rolls:
My part-Hungarian husband loves cabbage rolls, too, so it’s obviously one of those Eastern European foods that many cultures have passed around and embraced.
Polish foods I would NOT eat
My mom repeatedly told us about Polish foods she did NOT enjoy eating as a child, and usually included a gross story about a duck’s blood soup called czernina. This is a food I would not really be into trying, either, as she mentions it was typically served cold. Yum, cold, congealed duck’s blood in a bowl! Waiter, may I have another? Barf bag, that is…
I would also likely run from syrop z cebuli, which is supposedly a cough syrup made of onions and sugar. WOW. Two great tastes that undoubtedly taste HORRIBLE together. Dude, this sounds worse than Chinese food and chocolate pudding, or cocaine and waffles.
I am, however, up for trying pretty much any Polish desserts. Especially this sernik cheesecake:
Cheesecake is, let’s face it, the unifying force in most cultures.
What say you?
Would you give any of these Polish foods a try? Or have you already got a favorite Polish restaurant in Chicago?
Giveaway: San Diego from A to Z
Want to read the book I wrote last April, based on my A to Z posts about San Diego? I’m giving away two paperback copies of San Diego From A to Z over at Goodreads, so click here and enter to win! AND I’m giving away one free ebook copy every day until the end of April to a random commenter here on the blog. Leave a comment every day for another chance to win!