Articles in Poland travel
Warsaw is rich in culinary luminaries. One of them is Joanna Mróz, prolific founder-author of Poland’s popular food blog, FroBlog, “FRO” being the acronym for Fine Restaurants Only. She is also co-founder of Warsaw Foodie, which follows and comments on Warsaw’s culinary scene. We nibbled on small plates and swilled some good wine with Poland’s top restaurant blogger at Warsaw wine kitchen Kieliszki na Próżnej where she shared stories of food trends, changes, successes and more.
This is our day for Warsaw’s culinary luminaries. After lunch with Agnieszka Kręglicka at Opasły Tom we meet Magdalena Tomaszewska-Bolałek: Japanologist, journalist, researcher of food culture and author of four books including the award-winning Polish Culinary Paths. ‘My main goal is introducing foreign cuisine to Poles and Polish cuisine to the rest of the world,’ she says. ‘It’s very important to me to promote Polish cuisine and to build bridges between the cultures.’
‘We forgot, for a while in Poland, how to grow things,’ says Warsaw restaurateur, author and Opasły Tom co-owner, Agnieszka Kręglicka. ‘But this is turning around now. We’re starting to see a return to traditions and a focus on real food. Gastronomy is now growing really quickly. In Warsaw we’re seeing about 100 restaurants a year opening.’
KukBuk grew out of a ‘a pure love of cooking, eating and communicating round food.’ The intention was to merge cultural, culinary and lifestyle elements. We meet editor Agata Michalak and publisher Daria Pawlewskaat at the Warsaw offices of the award-winning magazine who share the story of KukBuk’s unexpected, unprecedented success. Then we visit Wilanów Palace.
Vodka is the most popular drink in Poland. Twenty years ago (during and immediately after the Soviet era) people were drinking shots, to get drunk. Now, they’re back to vodka for flavor, appreciation and enjoyment, says Pawel Matczak, our host at Dom Wódki in Warsaw, the first restaurant in the world to do menu pairings with vodka.
Would I like to join a study tour of Poland in the event of their being one? “Is the Pope a Catholic?” pops, appropriately I would say, to mind. A couple of months later the formal invite comes via a heavily accented voice on my cellphone. The itinerary is still being planned but she can tell me the duration of the tour will be six days. In October, same month as my previous visit. “Poland’s golden autumn.”
In this insightful gem, journalist and life coach Wanda Hennig writes wisely, hilariously and sometimes poignantly about sex and food; living for three-and-a-half years at the San Francisco Zen Center; moving solo from one continent to another; meditation; creative mindfulness strategies and more. Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures, freedom from dark places, and living and eating with abandon (Say Yes Press). Edition Two (Mouth Orgasm edition) published August 2017 (ISBN 9780996820523 paperback; ISBN 9780996820523 eBook).
British-born Caroline Grabowska and her Pawła Gąsiorek (Paul) have turned Dwór Sieraków, near Krakow in Poland, into a four-star historic hotels listed establishment. Chef Janusz Fic is the man culinary travelers will seek out at the restaurant, recognized by Slow Food Poland. Paul’s wine cellar is one of Poland’s finest. And their Dwór Sieraków vodka is now a label of note.
The fourth European Film Festival (2017 edition) for South Africa will screen at Cinema Nouveau in Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg beween May 5 and May 14. The films include award-winning entries from 12 countries: Austria, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Netherlands, and Ireland and Croatia for the first time.
Entering Wieliczka Salt Mine is like being transported into another world. A unreal, mystical, subterranean nether-world. Salt mining started here in the 13th century. Not surprisingly if a little eerily, the adventures, the stories, the lives of men and women who have lived and worked (and sometimes died) here, deep in the bowels of the earth, infuse the place. You feel it, sense it — or at least I did — as you descend after entering. As you climb down, down, down the narrow wooden stairwell into a nether world of caverns and tunnel-paths and overhangs. Small wonder this UNESCO Heritage Site is one of Poland’s top tourist attractions.