It’s the tail end of the strawberry season. Prices have been steadily hiking from the rock bottom 5 zł. per kg to 12 zł. per kg (One euro currently fetches about 4 zł). The good thing is there are other seasonal fibers to fuss over.
Mega-sized kalarepka (kohlrabi) are now going at a mere 2 zł. per piece. I tend to (con)fuse this word with galaretka (jelly or gelatin), (mis)calling it as galarepka. Peel off the green jacket, slice white interior thinly and they are good to crunch. I also roast them (in thicker slices) if I have the oven going.
Bób (pronounced “boob”. “Want some bób?” could cause confusion in some company) is also everywhere. Those early in the season can be a hit or miss – some are really bland and watery. The supply gets more reliable the season progresses. Now, 6 zł. to 7 zł. gets you a whole kilo of carbs. The locals boil them in salted water and serve as is. You can complicate things by converting them into a paste, such as guacamole – using the beans to replace the fruit. (On the picture: colander salvaged from Olimpia Stadium).
Botwina (young beet) are used in chłodnik (the Polish gazpacho), a pink-coloured cold soup that looks scary at first sight to the uninitiated. I like to use the leaves in salads and roast the walnut-sized beets. (Picture: my homegrown baby beet flourishing well).
Szczaw (sorrel) looks intimidating to pronounce with string of consonants. “Szcz” is a routine sequence occurring in Polish words. Just d0 the sounds “sheer”+”cheer” and you be fine. A common use for sorrel is in soup. One of the best places for sorrel soup, and I got this info from independent sources, is the Rusałka Milk Bar opposite the zoo in Praga on the right bank of Warsaw. I haven’t tried their soup but as far as authentic milk bar goes, this one is a real McCoy. Check it out even if you don’t fancy sorrel. In Chinese, avocados are called “butter fruits”. If I were to give sorrel a Chinese name, it would be “lemon leaves”. I like using the greens in Vietnamese nem to give the package a tangy bite. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has oodles of ideas on what else to do with them.