Summer Sale (1)

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.


About kitfchung

Experienced food and travel journalist based in Warsaw, Poland.
This entry was posted in Poland, Solids (Food), Warsaw, Where to Eat and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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