In this episode of Flavor of Poland viewers are taken to the northeastern part of Poland, to the Podlaskie voivodship, also commonly referred to as “Podlasie.” The Podlaskie region is, historically, one of the most diverse provinces of Poland in terms of ethnicity and culture. Over the centuries, groups of various ethnic and religious backgrounds settled here and created a melting pot of cultures and traditions. This was an area historically co-inhabited by Belarusians, Tatars, Lithuanians, Russians, Ukrainians, Macedonians, Germans, Jews and, of course, the Poles. Out of the rich and diverse history of this region grew a unique cuisine that combines simplicity, diversity and rich flavor.
Viewers will have a chance to explore the unique elements and tastes of Podlasie with Aleksandra as she tours the city center of Białystok, exploring its square, important monuments such as the Branicki Palace, historic churches and synagogues and learns about the history and significance of the local, Esperanto language. She stops into the city’s local cafes and restaurants trying local specialties such as the unique beverage called “buza.” She also takes viewers on a venture beyond the city, visiting the historic town of Tykocin where she learns about the area’s Jewish history and important monuments left there in its wake. She continues her journey across the region with a visit to the town of Łomża (a city over 1000 years old!) and a stroll out into the Podlasie countryside, considered to be the region’s most charming aspect. While there, she explores the influences of the local folk culture and visits an agritourism farm in Hamulka where, together with local experts, she learns how to bake one of the region’s traditional cakes – Sękacz!
Back in her kitchen, Aleksandra shows viewers how to bring a bit of the unique flavors of the Podlaskie region into their own home with a recipe for a Lithuanian cold beet soup and Russian-style buckwheat pancakes with smoked halibut, cream and caviar!
Learn more about this truly unique and characteristic part of Poland in episode #4 of the Flavor of Poland series.