Made in Małopolska
The cuisine of Małopolska is very rich and varied, albeit not faithful – it often succumbs to the influence of its neighbours, as well as fashions and trends from around the world. In many cases, it even hearkens back to the Austrian, Jewish, German, Czech and Hungarian traditions! What is more, local chefs even try to take a sneak peek behind the scenes of the cuisine of Wallachian shepherds, who gave us the oscypek and bryndza cheese. It smells good – it smells of the dry krakowska sausage, prądnicki bread, sauerkraut and slivovitsa, which helps with bad mood better than any other liquor. In addition to world-famous products such as the obwarzanek, lisiecka sausage and the Pischinger, Małopolska is also known for its ice cream trails, which you can use to see Nowy Targ and Nowy Sącz. There is also the troublesome Viennese cheesecake – Cracovians claim and swear on their lives that it originated in the City of Kings and was simply stolen by the Viennese. Some claim that in 1820 one Estreicher travelled to Vienna with his wife. They took their mother’s cheesecake recipe with them. The wife didn't like to bake, so she commissioned the local confectioner to prepare the cheesecake for her party. When the man served the cake, it turned out to be terrible, because he used… hard cheese to make it! When he learned the real recipe, he developed it and started selling it as a Viennese cheesecake. Personally, I am firm believer in this story.
Sweet as Małopolska
Małopolska smells of honey and it offers quite a lot of varieties. Honey is indispensable for when you are sad, depressed and under the weather – especially made in Podksięże. The thick coniferous honeydew honey from Sucha Beskidzka, characterised by a slightly bitter taste, bolsters your mood and is good for the body. Nowy Sącz honey is also made of honeydew product collected from fir and spruce trees. It has been made in the area for centuries and its taste has always been influenced by the specific microclimate and the surrounding nature. Due to its taste, nutritional and medicinal qualities, Nowy Sącz honeydew honey was mainly intended for export to Germany, Switzerland and to Canada.
If you are looking for unique flavours in Małopolska, you will not be disappointed. The Wadowice cream cake is sometimes also referred to the Pope cake ever since Pope John Paul II himself praised its heavenly flavour. A true cream cake is made of shortcrust puff pastry and vanilla cream, all created with natural ingredients. The pastry is made of local eggs, cream and milk – all straight from the countryside. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you should definitely try the Upland cheesecake, which is supposed to be slightly sweet, moist and cheesy. It should also smell of vanilla. Back in the day, it was baked for the most important holidays – it was a luxury and expensive product. Today, it constitutes a part of culinary heritage of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland.
Boost your health!
Those looking for healthy and natural local products will not be disappointed. Małopolska is famous for its fruit orchards – there could be no shortage of those here. After all, this is the region that boasts the famous suska sechlońska dried plums. The delicacy, whose name might be quite a tongue-twister for the international visitors, comes from the village of Sechna in the Laskowa municipality. It is a smoke-cured plum from local orchards, dried in the so-called luftówka furnaces – underground tunnels with a hearth at the very end. The fruit are characterised by shiny peel, heavily wrinkled and their smell reminds you of smoke. Of course, some will also love susorki iwkowskie – dried pears and plums, as well apple slices. Those who prefer drinking rather than chewing will definitely enjoy the wide variety of juices.