The Pomorskie Region. Kashubian strawberries on the plate
Kashubian strawberries are the pride of Kashubia and the entire Pomorskie Region. They are very sweet and juicy, and taste best when eaten straight from the basket. However, when the chefs of Pomorskie restaurants put it on their cutting board, magic happens. We asked the best of them how they serve this fruit.
The Kashubian strawberry (kaszëbskô malëna) is included in the European system of names and geographical indications, and – in order to be called Kashubian – must be grown in a very limited area. Anyone who has ever tried this fruit knows perfectly well that it is sweet, firm, juicy, aromatic and has a beautiful dark red color. Those features result from favorable soil conditions and the Kashubian climate. You can successfully use this fruit to stuff dumplings or make fruit soup. But how do Pomorskie chefs see this strawberry in their spring and summer menus?
White asparagus with strawberries and brown butter in The White Rabbit (2, Folwarczna street, Gdynia)
This sounds like a good plan for an original dessert, and very good and original is indeed how it tastes. Thanks to the kindness of the chef, Rafał Koziorzemski, we received a full recipe for a homemade version of this lovely delight. It is almost the same as in the restaurant. The only difference is that in the White Rabbit nitrogen is used to freeze it, and at home a freezer is enough.
“I am a huge fan of combining warm and cold as well as combining controversial flavors,” says Mr Koziorzemski. “I served this dessert during a dinner for Pedro Martin Rojo, the well-known painter. At first the artist was not sure he would like to have it, but as soon as he tasted it, all his doubts suddenly disappeared.“
The dessert is a combination of strawberries, hot strawberry sauce, ice dust made of blended and then frozen white asparagus, some white chocolate, panna cotta with brown butter and mint for decoration. And all this in the spirit of Alice in Wonderland, because this is the philosophy of the hotel Quadrille, in which the restaurant is located.
Strawberry and goat cheese, meringue and salted caramel in Corrèze (2/7, Stara Stocznia street, Gdańsk)
This is a proposal for lovers of sweet and dry combinations. A classic meringue in the company of chocolate and goat cheese mousse, with some salted caramel, a bit of balsamic vinegar, lemon, vanilla ice cream and Kashubian strawberries – they all go perfectly together.
The dessert is sweet, but at the same time tempered by the acidity of the lemon, so we do not feel like we have had too much sugar. And if we consider the location of the Corrèze restaurant, in the very heart of Gdańsk and on the Motława river, we can already be sure there is a pleasant experience ahead. Tasteful and scenic.
Strawberry-mint sorbet with meringue and lime – Filharmonia Restaurant/The Baltic Philharmonic (1, Ołowianka, Gdańsk)
Recently we have been able to get to Gdańsk’s Ołowianka island across a mobile footbridge built over the Motława River. So you can go for a walk through the city’s romantic streets, then admire the architecture along the Motława River, and finally have a delicious strawberry dessert in the Baltic Philharmonic. The Filharmonia restaurant is a place with character where history meets modern elegance. In the renovated interiors of the historic building you can experience different flavors, aromas and textures based on fresh, seasonal products.
The above dessert is refreshing and nicely cooling. So it’s best to have it on warm days. The taste of this strawberry and mint sorbet mixes smoothly with that of the sweet and sour meringue and lemon crumble. The dessert is sprinkled with lime syrup. The flavor experience can be compared to listening to beautiful music. Music lovers will be delighted!
Crispy tart with fresh strawberries, vanilla ice cream and salted caramel, and Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri coctail – Brovarnia Gdańsk / Hotel Gdańsk (9, Szafarnia str., Gdańsk)
Brovarnia Gdańsk is a place where we can drink a pint of regional beer brewed on the spot and eat modern versions of old Polish dishes. The restaurant has been appreciated by Polish and foreign media. For example, The British Financial Times was delighted with the breakfast served in the restaurant, and The Guardian included Brovarnia as one of the 40 most “hot” places to visit in 2014.
You can find Kashubian strawberries in two forms here. The chef offers a crispy tart with fresh strawberries, crème pâtissière, vanilla ice cream, salted caramel and strawberry coulis for dessert. And Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri is available for lovers of refreshing drinks. It is made with fresh and frozen Kashubian strawberries, white rum and homemade lime juice.
Kashubian strawberry ”szpajza” – Norodowi Mól restaurant (Celbowo 27a, Puck)
You can experience a homely Kashubian atmosphere at this place and, although the restaurant building was constructed in 2006, its design is a copy of typical nineteenth-century architecture. Authentic, characteristic timber-framed bricks add some historical character to the place. An advantage is also a nicely arranged summer garden with a pond and a mill wheel. In summer, you can have meals outdoors, and in winter you can get warm in front of a crackling fireplace.
The menu features a traditional Kashubian delight – “szpajza”. This is a sort of foam, made with fresh eggs, lemon and blended strawberries and served in chilled cups. And what does it taste like? Like a refreshing strawberry … cloud. Delicate and full of flavor.
Butter fried vendace with strawberries and mint – Restaurant Café Polskie Smaki (Polish Flavors Café) / Sheraton Sopot Hotel (10, Powstańców Warszawy street, Sopot)
The restaurant is located in the Sheraton Hotel, in the very center of Sopot, right on the beach. The star of the place, besides the regional cuisine, is certainly the view of the Sopot pier. When we choose the Polish Flavors Café, we experience the quintessence of the Sopot resort in a very elegant way.
Among other dishes the menu includes a very delicate butter fried vendace in the excellent company of Kashubian strawberries. This is a simple recipe that does not require any additional combinations to delight our palates. A touch of mint for decoration and taste will make us feel like we are in Sopot heaven.
– The secret of the dish is simplicity and the best quality products. The vendace comes from Wdzydze Kiszewskie in Kashubia, and the strawberries from a certified farm in Chmielno. “We use butter made with a specially prepared sour cream, and the mint adds a refreshing aroma,” says Krystian Szidel, the chef at the Polish Flavors Café.
Trout “gravada” with mustard and horseradish sauce and stewed strawberry relish – Elixir (1, Mariana Hemara str., Gdańsk)
Elixir is a very modern place, combining a restaurant and a cocktail bar. The philosophy and the idea of the place is so-called foodpairing – the art of combining flavors. Excellent and often surprising flavor combinations are a standard in Elixir.
Looking for a Kashubian strawberry in Elixir’s menu, we come across a trout “gravada” in a mustard and horseradish sauce. It is is accompanied by relish of stewed strawberries. The dish just melts in your mouth.
Trout marinated in strawberry vinegar – Wood and Water Restaurant / Notera Spa Hotel (1, Wczasowa str., Charzykowy)
The best produce of the surrounding lakes, fields and forests can be found in this elegant restaurant, located just on Charzykowskie Lake in the Tuchola Forest. The restaurant, with its lakeview, take you to a charming land that moves all your senses.
Our main Kashubian heroes can be found here in a rather unusual form, as a strawberry vinegar marinade for trout. It is served with a salad of young potatoes, horseradish and dill. This is an interesting version of a spring dinner to enjoy with your family. And, by the way, you can relax at the Notera Hotel Spa throughout the weekend.