Sunday, October 24, 2010
One does not live by sword and horseriding alone :)
Our ancestors loved to eat and drink, and only the coming of the Soviet Poland known as PRL (from 1945-90) almost destroyed our national culinary arts. Alas they have been coming back and old recipes have been brought back, and especially Polish meat smoking and fermented sausage making has been having a 'Renaissance' of sorts in Poland and... in the United States and Canada - in the North American there is a bunch of Polish meat making afficionados who collaborated on 3 books already, eg available on Amazon Stanley-Marianski
Note that it is not easy to obtain some good organic pork these days around New York City (as oppose to Montreal, Canada) nor good organic natural (cleaned tripes) casing is readily available.
...this past September my friendWaldi (Waldemar Kozik who also is a friend and collaborator of Mr Marianski ) went to the Catskills (mountains in New York about 2 hours drive from NYC). The purpose of the trip was to ... smoke some Polish sausages he had made based on Old Poland recipes. Valdi gets most of his meats from this one great Greek butcher shop (albeit some Puertoricans and Dominicans work there too, it is the Big Apple after all) in Astoria, Queens. We go there to get some good Kalamata lives, oil and other great Greek goods - in XVII century our ancestors had Armenian and Turkish merchants bring saffron, cinnamon, cumin, wine from Hungary and further south, Greek raisins, Persian raisins and dates, and other Eastern delicacies so their food was very spice-ed up, but not 'hot' or picante/caliente in Thai or Mexican style. I am not a specialist on the food history so let us leave the food history and get back to our story.
Valdi came back after a week, looking very 'mountain man' :) and only his faithful Tibetan Lhasa Apso 'Zack' saved his skin and brought him back to civilization, while his coolers were full of wonderfully smoked sausages and meats.
Naturally as friend do, we then had a 'potlatch' ( in a Polish tradition) and some sausages were brought forth: Lisiecka (favorite of our beloved pope John Paul II), Krakowska Dry (still drying :) ), Hunter (Mysliwska), dark venison sausage (made out of whitetail deer meat) and Wiejska (Country natural) along with some 'nalewka' and other stronger spirits from Poland (eg Debowa - oak vodka).
You can see the sausages on these two pictures:
here are sliced Hunter, thick Krakowska in slices and one piece, and Country natural also sliced.
and here is the venison one with the other three sliced and in a pieces.
Valdi is a master of his art (and also a fine photographer) , and in order to try his delicious sausages even some of the New York rich and famous ask him to share his artfully made sausages, smoked salmon and other meats.
Anyway, food was good, especially eaten with rye bread (made our Slavic way which is the best) and after the party ended, I took Lisiecka home and we have been enjoying it a little bit at a time, along with the other 3 sausages.
There is nothing like good food, smooth drink, and fine company when leaves turn golden and red and evenings grow longer and longer. We can only aspire to the feast carried by our Eastern European nobility, be it in Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Slovakia, Hungary, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania.
until the next time