Culinary Anthropologist


  1. Polish doughnuts (pączki)

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    I hardly ever use recipes from the internet, least of all from unknown food bloggers (of whom there seem to be a few million).  Usually I spend hours, days even, researching the thing I want to make in various books and then come up with a hybrid recipe that, for me, takes the best of […]

  2. Lacto-fermented cucumbers

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    Lacto-fermenting is another way of pickling.  Instead of using vinegar, you use a salt solution and wait for some special (naturally existing) bacteria to work their magic.  The gherkins retain more of their vitamins and there are other health benefits too.  More importantly, they don’t have that overpowering vinegary tang and taste delicious. Here’s the […]

  3. Feeling sheepish

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    A day without vodka has done Barnaby the power of good and he is now back on solid food.  To nurse himself back to health he has been nibbling on his favourite of all Polish cheeses – oscypek (‘os-tsi-pek’), smoked mountain sheep’s cheese. Oscypek is a speciality of the Tatras mountains around Zakopane.  The sheep’s […]

  4. Beyond the valley of the dumplings


    Well since leaving France we’ve come quite a long way (now about 3,500km on the clock in fact).  We shifted across Germany pretty fast, eating nice fresh apples and sticky spätzle by the Bodensee and then great griesenschmalz in the Bayrisches Wald.  But we wanted more – spätzle only get you so far – so […]

  5. Places to eat in Poland

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    During our quest for the best żurek, pierogi (pictured), barszcz and golonka we came across these rather nice places to eat.  Should you find yourself in Zakopane, Kraków or Kazimierz Dolny (three of the prettiest towns in Poland), you could do a lot worse than dine here…

  6. Places to stay in Poland

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    Of course, the best place to stay in Poland is where we spent most of our time – with Richard and Marzena and their two lovely daughters at their home in Zakopane.  But if you’re not lucky enough to know them, you could try one of these other places which we would highly recommend.  (Places […]

  7. Breakfast: Poland again

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    I know we’ve already done Poland, but this was amazing: żurek with kielbasa (i.e. fermented sour rye soup with sausage).  Both were home-made by our hosts here in Barcice Dolny, and both were wonderful.

  8. Sweet, sweet honey


    Today Barnaby discovered that in Poland they make Miodula – a vodka made out of honey.  Yes, a vodka. Made out of honey. Bears are quite keen on honey. Barnaby is quite keen on vodka. You get the picture. Today we are taking him to safety in Slovakia.

  9. Refusing to be cowed

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    Today Barnaby challenged Malina to a staring contest.  They both claim to have won but we couldn’t really tell. Malina (Polish for ‘Raspberry’) was enjoying some free time between morning and evening milkings.  She provides the entire Łatka family, and us today, with organic milk.  Mrs Łatka cleverly transforms the milk into sour cream, butter […]

  10. A Pole apart? Thinking outside the goat-shed

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    Luckily, by the time we’d reached the remote Bieszczady Mountains we’d learnt enough Polish to recognize that ‘kozie sery’ meant ‘goat’s cheeses’.  (It’s great being married to a linguist.)  So when the hand-painted wooden sign appeared by the side of the road we slammed on the brakes – and then tentatively approached the farm gate, […]

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