Fried flounder and herring-these are the most common associations of Poles concerning Pomorskie cuisine. However, the kitchen of the sea, from Kashubia, Tucholskie Forests or Powiśle is much richer and has its extraordinary tradition. It's worth exploring.
We talk about the traditions of Pomorskie cuisine with Sebastian Cichy, the chef and cook, a member of the Association of Polish Cooks for more than 25 years.
Pomorskie.travel: Pomorskie is a land full of contrasts. Here we have both the Baltic and the Kashubian hills. The forests and lowlands and even areas below the sea level. Today, the availability of food products is unlimited, but in the old days people in the region ate what nature gave…
Sebastian Cichy: Pomorskie contains cuisine from Kashuby, Kociewie and Lowlands. The typical dish for the Tucholskie Forests, Powiśle and Slupsk land. When it comes to Kashubian cuisine, it was developed by…life itself. Kashubians are very busy people, who ate high-calorie dishes, mostly in the midday, according to the rhythm determined by the church bells. The basis of Kashubian cuisine will be healthy fish. In the Southern Kashuby the freshwater ones coming from the surrounding lakes and rivers. Northern Kashuby on the other hand, sea fish, caught at dawn by fishermen who sailed in the sea. There was also quite a lot of poultry and goose on the Kashubians tables. Fowl was bred in every household. On the occasion of hog killing, the whole family had a lot of pork, and the slice of bread with a lard was quite a rarity.
When it comes to the Kociewie cuisine, we can say that nowadays we discover it again. Certainly, as in the case of Kashubian, village’s kitchen is full-blown and high-calorie. In the dishes there is a lot of cobs, potatoes or onion. The lower Vistula Valley is famous for its plums, and it has always been the place where the most delicious plump jams were performed. Typical for the kitchen in Kociewie is a soup called “Parzybroda”. In other words, this is a cabbage soup. Also, you cannot forget about the herring, marinated in goat’s milk and onions. Returning to the potatoes, they were used in many ways. For example “golce” – noodles , which were served: with sauerkraut and mushrooms, or “szandar”, smashed potatoes baked with bacon. The dessert was called “szpajza”, a kind of lemon marshmallow .
Pomorskie.travel: In the area of Lowland people ate in a similar way…
Sebastian Cichy: While the kitchen in Kociewie was heavily inspired by German cuisine, the kitchen of Lowlands is a typical agricultural and very rich. As I said, Lowlands is a farming land, and swede was very popular there. In the Lowland’s kitchen there were also lot of potatoes and parsnips.
Pomorskie.travel: It is worth noting that the kitchen in Lowlands is largely influenced by the Mennonite’s cuisine. The Dutch Christians lived there for a long time. They introduced to the Lowland’s kitchen, among other things, cheese…
Sebastian Cichy: The traditional cuisine of Lowlands have not only traces of Mennonites, but also the Teutonic Order. The royal marzipan is a recipe from the monks. As for Mennonites, they propagated agriculture to the Lowlands. They were able to do this, as the Lowlands brought modern equipment, which they had previously used in the Netherlands. In addition to cultivation of fields, they also bred cattle and produced cheeses, including Werderkase, which now serovars try to remake.
Pomorskie.travel: But the kitchen of the Tucholskie Forest is already a completely different story!
Sebastian Cichy: Do I know? Here the base was also potatoes, although it is not possible to miss the fact that the inhabitants of these areas were very often using the resources of the surrounding forests. So many mushrooms were eaten, which were prepared in a variety of ways. On the tables appeared blueberries, raspberries, blackberry, or real, delicious forest fruit. But the dairy was eaten too. Very popular were “Gomółki” – cottage cheese in the form of a lump previously dried in the sun. People who lived around Tucholskie Forests were eating a fairly poor calorie meal, so they consumed them quite often, even five-six times a day.
Going further north, the kitchen of Słupsk land focused on fish such as herring or eel, especially smoked, as it was famous in the whole Prussian Land. There were also goose (and naturally bred geese), as well as the Pomorskie Camambert, which is called the “Słupsk peasant “.
Pomorskie.travel: Pomorskie is a wealth of regions. Although we consistently strive to promote all of them, Kashuby remains the most popular ever. The list of Kashubian dishes is very long, but the most common ones are…
Sebastian Cichy: If I had to mention it would probably be: frikasy, or chicken in a stew,
A semi-chestnut, i.e. cod, mandible and sauerkraut, Kashubian carrots, cytrontalis and ruchanki – fried pancakes.
However, I encourage you to try dishes from different parts of Pomorskie Region. They are delicious, diverse and based on local ingredients!