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Małopolska Festival of Taste

Małopolska Festival of Taste

During your stay in agritourism farms in Małopolska, you cannot miss the delicacies of the regional cuisine, which fill the tables and await the guests. Traditional hospitality demands that the best cuisine is served. Ancient traditions, well-tried recipes and cultivation methods passed from generation to generation constitute the secret of Małopolska’s delicacies. The best occasion to start tasting Małopolska is the annual Małopolska Festival of Taste, during which a contest and an opinion poll entitled “Małopolski Smak” (Taste of Małopolska) are held. The idea of the contest is to select the best producers and products.

 

It is worth trying the following kinds of cheese: oscypek, which is appreciated by gourmets from the whole Europe, or the salty bryndza or bundza, produced only in the Polish mountains.  In the capital of Małopolska, Kraków, tables are laden with tasty soups. Barszcz (beetroot soup) and żurek po krakowsku (white soup made from soured flour) owe their sour taste to the soured ingredients and carefully selected herbs. The brown crust of obwarzanek and pretzel, sprinkled with salt, sesame or poppy seeds, is the result of a few hundred years of tradition, thanks to which these pastries have become a symbol of Kraków. Chleb prądnicki (“prądnicki” bread) is less known, although it has been baked since the 15th century, and a genuine loaf of such bread is one meter long and weights in excess of 10 kg! Other specialities of Kraków include delicious cakes and bagels from Kazimierz. It is widely known that fresh bread tastes best with honey, when the crust and the soft inside of the bread become soaked with sweetness originating from mountain apiaries. This is where the best honeydew honey is produced (the regions of Małopolska and Sądeczczyzna).

 

Traditional products also include salt from Wieliczka, ice-cream from Nowy Targ or the famous balsam kapucyński (Capuchin balm). Kiełbasa lisiecka (“lisiecka” sausage) also comes from Małopolska. It is produced in Liszki and Czernichów near Kraków using top-quality pork, and then smoked over aromatic smoke from a specially selected fruit tree wood. Other regional delicacies include Zator goose carcasses and lamb meat from the Podhale, as well as the “zatorski” carp from the neighbourhood of Zator, where it has been bred since the 12th century in numerous ponds of Dolina Karpia (the Carp Valley). You should also try fruit and vegetables, such as: “charsznicka” sour cabbage, “Piękny Jaś” butter bean from the Dunajec valley, “łukowicka” and “sechlońska suska” prunes and traditional varieties of apples from Raciechowice and Łącko. Gourmets will also appreciate jodłownicki kołacz z serem (ring-shaped cake with cheese), quern bread from Łomna and Jurassic bread. Regional products that enter the poll and contest during the Małopolska Festival of Taste are evaluated in four categories: “Ecological delicacies” are preserves and dishes made in ecological farms, “Traditional specialities” have to be made using traditional products of Małopolska, “Specialities with a legend” require a presentation of an interesting story connected to them, “Home-made by mum” are regional dishes and preserves made by farmers’ wives’ associations, agritourism farms etc. The Festival of Taste consists of a cycle of six semi-finals (in Oświęcim, Kraków, Tarnów, Nowy Sącz, Nowy Targ and Miechowie) and the Grand Final on the Wolnica square in Kraków (last weekend of August).

 

It is also worth attending other events organized as part of the Małopolska Festival of Taste. They include the Małopolska Taste of Easter, i.e. a fair of Easter delicacies organized together with the Easter Fair on the Kraków Main Square. During the fair, you can taste delicious cold cuts, sausages from the basket with blessed Easter food, or traditional “lisiecka” sausage. You can also refresh yourself with żurek (sour soup) made on whey, or a horseradish soup, and then delight in Easter cakes and tarts served as a dessert. In December, during the Małopolska Taste of Christmas Eve, everyone can try delicious Christmas products and dishes. It is a perfect occasion to taste the smoked “zatorski” carp and many other Christmas specialties. Enjoy your meal!

Małopolska Festival of Taste is organized by the Małopolska Province; more details available at: www.smak.malopolska.pl and www.visitmalopolska.pl.

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