Sunday, April 8

Easter Barszcz

There's a fairly involved Easter tradition that my Polish family follows. This year was the second year that I undertook this process by myself since, living 3000km away, I can no longer visit my Parents every Easter. It begins about 1.5 weeks before Easter Sunday with the soaking of rye bread in water. This stimulates the growth of the yeast in the bread and a fermentation process occurs. It looks and smells gross, but just wait until the final product - it's all worth it!

The next step occurs on Holy Saturday. We prepare a basket of food that is blessed in the church. Depending on the region of Poland where you live and your specific family traditions, different items go in the basket. Our family includes the following: eggs, rye bread, kielbasa, beef, salt, farmer's cheese, and horseradish root.

Also on Good Friday or Holy Saturday, a beef broth is made that is eventually turned into the pièce de résistance.

Finally, both the soaking bread liquid and the beef broth are strained carefully and combined to make a clear sour soup called barszcz. This is served on Easter Sunday for breakfast. Individual bowls contain all the goodies from the Easter basket, topped off with grated spicy horseradish and the hot barszcz is poured over. Mmm, is it ever yummy!

Since I don't have many people to cook for, I just made the one Easter dessert - a Polish cheesecake. It's made with farmer's cheese which is sort of like a pressed cottage cheese. To finish it off, I slathered on the chocolate and served it with raspberry syrup. Happy Easter!

No comments:

Post a Comment