Saturday, March 25, 2017
   
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Reviews and Tips

July is Ogorki Season

The smell of dill pickles is reminiscent of many things, but mostly of old fashion kitchen in July. In places like Poland many often call the time from mid July to mid August the season of Ogorki or ogórki (marinated pickles are called in Polish kiszone ogórki ). But here in southern New Jersey both cucumbers and dill are lush and beautiful . The plants have responded well to the rain and are producing beautiful pickles.

Read more: July is Ogorki Season

 

History of Pickles

The history of pickles stretches so far back into antiquity that no definite time has been established for their origin, but they are estimated to be over 4,000 years old.

In 2,030 BC, cucumbers native to India were brought to the Tigris Valley. There, they were first preserved and eaten as pickles. Cucumbers are mentioned at least twice in the Bible (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8) and history records their usage over 3,000 years ago in Western Asia, ancient Egypt and Greece. In 850 B.C., Aristotle praised the healing effects of cured cucumbers. Cleopatra attributed a portion of her beauty to pickles -- though we're not sure which portion. Pliny's writings mention spiced and preserved cucumbers; in other words, pickles. The Roman Emperor Tiberius consumed pickles on a daily basis. Julius Caesar thought pickles had an invigorating effect, so, naturally, he shared them with his legions.

Read more: History of Pickles

   

Horseradish, the Bitter Herb of Spring: Cultivation and Recipes

Horseradish is an herb long used at the Easter season by Polish, Russian and other Eastern European cultures. My dad always put a generous amount on his Easter morning kielbasa. I love it also, but flavor it with beets and also use it in potato salad.

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Sweet Peas in Polish Garden

Spring weather is like a child's face, changing many times a day.
- old Chinese proverb

If you haven't already planted your sweet peas (Polish groszek pachnacy), it is the time to do it now. I love the neon colors of these intensely fragrant flowers, but they also come in many pastel shades. The Sweet Pea or Lathyrus odoratus is a highly scented annual of the Leguminosae family. An individual bloom consists of three or four flowers (or florets) on a stem.

Read more: Sweet Peas in Polish Garden

   

Herbs, Fruits, and Vegetables in Polish Cuisine

Here you will find information about some herbs, fruit and vegetables popular in Poland but rarely seen (at least by me) in the USA on the market. I hope that our readers will help me to update this list. As you probably noticed the recipes which I included in the Polish Culture Website base mainly on these rarely used vegetables. Polish names are shown in brackets.

Horseradish (chrzan) - horseradish is very popular in Polish cuisine - not only as a spice and salad but also as a main component of the horseradish soup for Easter Sunday. In order to do the soup one has to use a horseradish root and grate it (do not use a food processor). We have a recipe for a delicious horseradish soup on the website in the Soups section.

Read more: Herbs, Fruits, and Vegetables in Polish Cuisine

   

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