Żuławy cuisine – nothing ever went to waste
If you ever ask a foodie about culinary tradition of Żuławy region, you will most certainly make them drool. The variety of food, its quality, and the uncanny, sometimes funny, names of local dishes is what makes all culinary aficionados love the regional cuisine. Cuisine of Żuławy that had been forgotten until several years ago. Right now, it’s experiencing its revival.
“Klinki krajane” , for instance, are potato dumplings with bacon, onion, and sauerkraut. Fuśka, on the other hands, are potato balls with bacon that used to be served with roast duck or goose. Cuisine of Żuławy always has been substantial; all meals were supposed to fulfil the needs of farmers who were once numerous to these lands, and who had hectares and hectares of fields to look after.
Speaking of farming: there were always plenty of vegetables in the cuisine of Żuławy, with rutabaga being the most prominent. This vegetable, long forgotten, is now being re-discovered. Rutabaga soup was an excellent meal for cold, autumn and winter days. Aside from rutabaga, parsnip and – of course – potatoes, the “flag” vegetables implemented by Germans in the region, were the favourites among local population.
Cuisine of Żuławy region to a great extent based on meat. A lot of poultry and game was consumed here, served – which is interesting – in a sweet way, with baked fruit such as apples or plums. Archives also mention more sophisticated dishes, such as goose breast, a rarity and a real treat for many people nowadays.
Meat, however, was not everything. Since the region had always had easy access to seawater and freshwater fish, fish meals were very often present in local households.
These meals included various kinds of fish soup, which was an important element of culture of people who inhabited Żuławy region. One of the more popular ones was smoked flounder soup. Of course, fished for in the Baltic Sea.
Other popular dishes included the classic blood soup, and such “surprises” as winter meat and plum soup.
The history of regional cuisine of Żuławy is one of many cultures and many traditions. Without doubt, it is why it became so unique. If you look closely, you will find references and inspirations to times when Slavic and Prussian tribes ruled these lands. A separate stage of culinary history of Żuławy were the Middle Ages and the times of Teutonic Knights. Yet another – the times of the Mennonites and Germans who lived here.
Nothing went to waste in the kitchen. Local housewives had the unique ability to make “something out of nothing” , and even the tiniest leftovers were used by them in creating their culinary works of art.
After World War II, cuisine of Żuławy region underwent many transformations. Most of all, because of poverty, more meals based on flour and potatoes were introduced, such as dumplings stuffed with buckwheat, served with greaves.
It is worth noting, however, that cheese, beer and liqueur manufacture was equally popular in Żuławy.
There is no doubt that at one moment cuisine of Żuławy region began merging with culinary traditions of two neighbouring regions: Kociewie and Kaszuby. Today, the truly traditional cuisine can be found in publications devoted to regional cuisine (such as “Kulinaria żuławskie” by Artur Wasielewski), or in restaurants that have classic regional dishes in their menus.
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