Tasty Poland – culinary tour

Kraków (3) – Zakopane (2) – Zamość (1) – Lublin (1) – Kiermusy (2) – Warsaw (1)

Poland – a country situated on the cross roads of European trade routes – has always been a melting pot of cultures, religions and traditions. Both settlers and travellers brought in new ingredients, recipes and tastes. Traditional Polish bread is praised by visitors from all over Europe. We produce a multitude of different types of bread (made of rye, soya, sunflower seeds, flavoured with honey or nuts) which is highly appreciated by all foreigners. Traditional Polish cuisine combines: the refined tastes of the French cuisine introduced to Poland by the court of Henri de Valois – the first elected Polish king and the mysterious flavours of the Lithuanian forests, the sweet aroma of the Jewish dishes and the taste of steak Tartare – originally made by the horse riders of Genghis Khan who used to place a slice of raw beef under their saddles for extra tenderness. Polish cuisine is characterised by dishes with a well-defined taste.

According to Kurt Scheller, the founder and owner of Kurt Scheller Academy in Warsaw, there is no set national cuisine here, there are several regional variations. Many Polish dishes are served in different ways depending on the region, the chef’s taste and imagination, and availability of fresh ingredients. Żurek – the most typical Polish soup based on fermented rye flour can be served with potatoes/hard-boiled egg/cabbage/cottage cheese/mushrooms/sausage/sourcream etc. The eastern part of the country is well known for pierogi, Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains for kwaśnica (sauerkraut soup) and oscypek (a sheep’s milk smoked cheese). Polish farmers are known for keeping t traditional, organic methods of cultivation and husbandr which means that Polish produce is less pleasing to the eye than the mass-produced Western equivalents but more pleasing to the palate. Cooking the Polish way means putting your heart into it. “Guest at home, God at home” – is a famous Polish saying which means that whether you are an old friend or a stranger you will be greeted with the same attention and hospitality and won’t leave without having eaten a sumptuous meal.

6 tasty poland

DAY 1 – arrival in Kraków, dinner at Wierzynek restaurant where the first European peace conference took place in 1364. After a magnificent feast hosted by Mikołaj Wierzynek, negotiations moved from stalemate to a peaceful solution. Since then, with Royal approval, Wierzynek has welcomed celebrities, dignitaries and royalty of many nationalities as guests). Special welcome by the chef followed by folk entertainment. Overnight in Kraków.

DAY 2 – city tour with Wawel Castle and Cathedral. Light lunch at a local restaurant specializing in all types of pancakes served cold and hot, crispy and sof various fillings. fternoon free. Dinner at “Nowina” restaurant in Głogczów 10 km from Kraków, with tasting of Polish honey vodka of several blends. Our venue for dinner is situated in the beautiful old manor house of the Nowina-Konopka family. Eight guest books full of compliments are an indication of the high quality. The restaurant serves traditional Polish food, prepared with natural ingredients from their own farm according to old family recipes. Overnight in Kraków.

DAY 3 – morning excursion to Wieliczka Salt Mine. At lunch – a presentation of Silesian cuisine – being prepared for hard – working miners, is substantial with plenty of tasty potato dumplings, rich sauces and delicious soups. Optional visit to Auschwitz – Birkenau former Nazi concentration camp. Evening walk through Kazimierz Jewish district. Dinner at Alef, a local Jewish restaurant with Jewish music concert. Welcome by the chef, who will present the roots of Sephardic and Ashkenazi cuisine in Poland and offer the most famous specialties of the house. Overnight in Kraków.

DAY 4 – drive to Zakopane, en route visit to a famous brewery in Żywiec for beer tasting. Stop for lunch in Rabka at “Siwy dym” restaurant featuring several types of Polish dumplings (pierogi) with various fillings. Walking tour of Zakopane. Dinner at “Bąkowo Zohylina” restaurant with folk entertainment and local specialties including: moskol (potato pancake), kwaśnica (local sauerkrout soup), kociołek świniobicie (selection of pork meat) and local vodka. Overnight in Zakopane.

DAY 5 – visit to the wooden village of Chochołów, carriage trip to Morskie Oko - a breathtaking mountain lake. Visit to a mountain inn where smoked sheep cheese is made - BBQ with famous “Oscypek” cheese and lamb tasting. Overnight in Zakopane.

DAY 6 – drive to Zamość. En route lunch at a castle restaurant in Baranów Sandomierski. Dinner in the 19th century farmstead in Guciów near Zamość. Tasting of regional dishes, liqueurs and Zwierzyniec regional beer. A presentation of traditional butter making and bread baking. Overnight in Zamość.

DAY 7 – short tour of Zamość, known as a Pearl of the Renaissance. Drive to Lublin. Lunch at a local restaurant recommended by “The Good Taste Academy” founded in Lublin to maintain and promote local specialties and traditional recipes. Short tour of Lublin. Dinner at another of “The Good Taste Academy’s” favoured eateries. Overnight in Lublin.

DAY 8 – drive to Kiermusy via Białowieża, a favourite hunting ground of Lithuanian princes, Polish kings and Russian tsars. Light lunch in Dwór Sopliców in Białowieża, sampling local game dishes. Continue to Kiermusy Manor in the Meadow serving traditional Podlasie cuisine, oven-baked bread and house liqueurs. Dinner – specialities such as: “Kindziuk”, eastern Polish pork sausage and “Sękacz”, which is probably the only cake in the world prepared on a spit with the pastry made out of 40 eggs. Overnight in Kiermusy.

DAY 9 – morning departure for Warsaw with a tour of places connected with Tartars and meetings with a couple of local artists. Lunch in “Tartar Yourt”, a Tartar Inn, in Kruszyniany – with authentic tartar specialities: pierekaczewnik, trybuszoki, kibiny, pieremiacze, cebulniki, and samsa that generations of Tartar mothers have been preparing in this land for centuries. Today those dishes are normally only served in local native Tartars households. Drive to Warsaw. Dinner at a local restaurant in the Old Town. Overnight in Warsaw.

DAY 10 – panoramic guided tour of Warsaw. Visit and lunch at the famous Kurt Sheller Cooking Academy, where the founder and the owner – Swiss-born Kurt Scheller teaches his cooking philosophy. His recipes are examples of modern Polish cuisine, a result of his inventive artistry in the kitchen. Free time for shopping (Polna Market, where the best natural ingredients for Polish cuisine are sold and a Bolesławiec traditional Polish painted crockery shop). Evening Chopin piano recital in one of the historical buildings in Royal Łazienki Park. Royal dinner in the Old Orangery building – now “Belvedere”, one of the best restaurants in town. Tasting royal specialties made accord-ing to old recipes invented by the 18th century chef who cooked for the last Polish King – Stanisław August Poniatowski. Souvenirs for participants: a set of Polish flavoured vodkas, a cookery book and a set of ingredients to prepare traditional Polish soup – żurek.

DAY 11 – departure.

……and many others

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