Feeding Mr. Obama in Poland

I don’t suppose Warsaw’s cyclists are any match for Barack Obama. The US President’s visit coincides with the monthly Warsaw Critical Mass‘ outing. The word out there is no one can get near Pl. Zamkowy (Castle Square) in the Old Town, where the cyclists normally flag off at 6 pm. Lots of roads are cordoned off and snipers are all geared up for target-shooting. While the press is making a fuss about traffic jams (in Polish only), limited parking, etc., I am really looking forward to being in the same capital as the boss of the US of A.

I wonder what he will be eating while he’s in Poland. Can PL do anything to top the meal he has just had with QEII? I bet after all the rich nosh, he wouldn’t mind some humble grub. Like strawberries. They are in season. Or some sort of herrings? Herrings in 3-ways (sauces) is often featured as a starter. Another good entrée is chłodnik – think of it as a Polish gazpacho made from young beets. Would he be able to stomach raw food like beef tartare? It’s a pretty safe bet that we won’t be startling the president’s stomach and senses with carp in jelly served with horseradish.

For mains, I seriously doubt they will feed Obama bigos. It’s fab stuffs loved by Nela Rubinstein (wife of pianist Artur Rubinstein) but Poles reckon it to be too low brow. You can forget kotlet schabowy (pork cutlet), another national fare that has a frumpy status. Pierogi, previously ranked as granny’s food, have made a come back. So, he might get to sample those stuffed with mushrooms and pickled cabbage. My money is on some “noble” dish that previously graced the tables of aristocratic homes. Dunno, perhaps game like pheasant (off season?) or hare? Would the environmentalists be all over the poor guy if he ate venison? Please don’t be on a low-carb diet because local potatoes, despite a limited variety on the market, are yummy stuffs.

As for desserts, Poles are famous for cream cakes and cheesecakes. Yeah, those are merciless on the waistline. Would szarlotka (Polish apple pie) taste as good to the President as the US’ version?

Now, for breakfast, would the Obamas be put off by the typical native breakfast of cold cuts and cottage cheese? Skip the protein and dive in to the bread basket. We have fabulous breads in this country. Personally, I would just hand them coffee (Americana, of course) and ciasto drożdżowe.

Finally, please toast (not breakfast, but for raising your glass) with vodka, preferably made from potatoes.



About kitfchung

Experienced food and travel journalist based in Warsaw, Poland.
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