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Kashubian Strawberries Festival

08.07.2016

The famous, sweet Kashubian aphrodisiac. The I Kashubian Strawberries Festival

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It has rich taste, it is more aromatic, and sweeter than others. Kashubian Strawberry is the pride of the Kashubian Lakeland. It has been noticed by the European Commission itself, which officially gave the Kashubian Strawberry status of a regional product. On July 1 and 2, in Chmielno, the 1st Kashubian Strawberries Festival took place. It was the first festival like this dedicated to these unique fruit.

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During the first day, a conference was held on history, cultivation, features, and uses of the Kashubian Strawberry. The second day, during an outdoor event, there was an opportunity to try not only fresh fruit, but also different strawberry preserves and desserts. In a huge pot, Jarosław Kłodziński and Łukasz Konik prepared a record-braking strawberry soup. 200 liters of water and 200 kilograms of fresh strawberries were used for this purpose. Preparations took several hours, and all this to break the Polish record of strawberry soup servings.

– Chmielno is the most “strawberry” municipality in Pomorskie – says Edyta Klasa, head of Municipal Center for Culture, Sports, and Recreation Cultural and Sports Center in Chmielno. – Out of all strawberry plantations, 44% have European Union’s certificates, and are grown according to the specifications issued by the European Commission.

The European Commission has recognized the Kashubian strawberry as regional product. The Kashubian Strawberry (honeoye, senga sengana, elsanta breeds), or Kaszëbskô Malëna, has been submitted in 2009 to the European Union’s Protected Geographical Indication list.

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According to the experts from the Kashubian Association of Kashubian Strawberries, these strawberries taste so uniquely due to harsh Kashubian microclimate. Cool nights and warm days make the ripening process slower, giving more fructose, which translates into better flavour. It is abundant in vitamin C, it is good for digestion, and – according to some – is an aphrodisiac.

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Kartuzy poviat, and particularly Stężyca, Sierakowice, and Chmielno communes, is a true strawberry hub. The first farm was founded by a Mrs. Gruchałowa at the beginning of the 20th century in Sierakowice commune. A huge role in promoting the Kashubian Strawberry was played by rev. Anastazy Sadowski.

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Today, the Kashubian Strawberry is eaten not only raw, or with sugar and sour cream. Kaszëbskô Malëna is also great for baking, making preserves, or sauces. It goes perfectly with cheese, fish, and meat. The I Kashubian Strawberries Festival provided the opportunity to taste strawberry liqueurs, ecological jams and preserves. Members of the Farmers’ Wives’ Association in Gowidlino treated guests to strawberry sushi, original buns with strawberries, and other desserts.

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-Kashubia is not only culture, songs, and language, but also food products. All this needs to be utilised within the entire, well-developed tourist infrastructure that we have here. There should be even more strawberries in the restaurant menus. Maybe we should establish a “strawberry route”? We should show what we have got – says Andrzej Klasa from the Kashubian Association of Strawberry Producers.

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You should remember that Kashubian Strawberry is available on the market not before the beginning of June, and the season ends at the beginning of July.

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