Do you see this?
Makowiec, Poppy Seed Roll-
Poppy-seed cake known also as a poppy seed loaf is a traditional Polish dessert - a yeast cake stuffed with a minced poppy. Some raisins, almonds or walnuts are the most typical additions. Baked cake is decorated with icing and (usually) orange peel.
and this... Krowki-
Krowki (plural; Krowka singular), literally 'little cows', are Polish fudge, semi-soft milk toffee candies. It is one of the most common Polish confectioneries, sold worldwide Wikipedia
and this... Piernik, Gingerbread -In Poland, piernik is sold in a form of a big piece of a cake, or as a package of small cookies usually covered with chocolate and filled with fruit preserves, nut mass or marzipan.
this... Sernik, Cheescake (fairly different from American cheescake)
The best known is a cheesecake baked in the oven and made on a layer of a crumbly cake although there are also cheesecakes prepared without baking. In most cases raisins, fruits, a crumble topping or chocolate sauce are typical additions.
Here comes the confession...
I don't like it.
I don't like any of it. Not one bit.
And there are so many more I don't like. So many.
(hanging my head in shame)
I should be disowned by my Polish family.
I should apologize for the offensive words I have just typed.
I should be scourging my taste buds as punishment.
I'm sorry. I know they all look delicious. I am sure they are lots of people's "favorite foods in the whole world." I'm sure there are contests out there where any one of them has won for Best-tasting -thing-ever-created- by -human-hands.
I just don't like most Polish desserts. I never have. Every Christmas my sister-in-laws bake rigorously for 2-3 days making delicious cookies and cakes and pies. I don't eat them. I have never had one of Marynia's lemon bars. Never touched one of the cookies with the jam in the middle. I will eat a bit of the poppy seed cake because I don't want to be rude, and I stealthily slide the candies to Martin when no one is looking.Marzipan makes me want to lose my lunch just thinking about it, and there is one candy, my mother-in-law's favorite (I think), that I take one bite of and generally throw the rest away (I've only done this once I swear) . (Przepraszam Mamo, please don't hate me!)
There are a couple I really do like.
Paczki, Polish doughnuts- especially the ones filled with ROSE jam. It tastes like the smell of roses. Really, really good.
and ... Polish Apple Strudel. My mother-in-law makes some excellent strudel, one for every person basically, every Christmas, and Martin and I savor each and every bite.
Now, a lot of you are thinking, "alright crazy lady, this did NOT deserve its own post." But you are so wrong. I can't even begin to tell you how wrong you are.
Polish cooking is delicious, the traditional foods are some of my favorites.
But the desserts couldn't be more different.
And there are desserts at EVERY MEAL.
Unlike America, where everyone politely passes up dessert because they are "watching their waistline" , so much so that dessert is often left out of meals here as a rule,(which incidentally, as a culture,our waistline STILL tends to be one of the biggest on the planet which leads me to the deduction that we should all just eat the dang dessert because it's not making a bit of difference to skip it!), Poles offer and serve dessert, and pretty much stand over you until you choose something, after every meal.
Is this my passive aggressive way of telling my Polish family not to be surprised(or offended) when I say "no thank you" to the dessert cart?
You're darn tootin' it is.
The last time we visited Poland I was craving an American dessert. Something simple. No nuts, no fruit, no candies, no fillings, no creme, no cheese. Just simple, chocolate cake, a brownie, a chocolate chip cookie. Something that reminded me of home. And we stumbled, quite literally, upon this place...
...and I walked in and got myself the biggest, freshest brownie they had. It was delicious.