Pomorskie is the land of milk and honey. Forests, rivers, clean lakes, and the vicinity of the sea have an impact on the quality and amount of crops, provide us with fresh fish, and unique tastes which you won’t find anywhere else. The wide selection of regional products and surprising combinations makes it the culinary heart of Poland.
No other region in Poland boasts such a wealth of products and tastes as Pomorze. Pomorskie cuisine is mostly renowned for sea fish, and that’s just the beginning of its culinary potential. Its diversified terrain, from the sea, lakes, and marshy Żuławy, to the hills of the ‘Kaszuby Switzerland’, is crucial to the taste and quality of all local products of Pomorskie.
Rare species of saltwater and freshwater fish, meat from local farms, juicy and healthy potatoes and crops, the abundance of forest fruit and regional unique tastes are appreciated not only by Polish tourists, but also foreign foodies.
Pomorskie is primarily the kingdom of saltwater fish – all-year and seasonal, such as eel and zander. Its seasonal pearls include the Kaszuby marlin, that is the garfish, which comes here from the North Sea in its spawning season in May. The most popular fish include cod, flounder, Kaszuby herring, and sprats served in the region as chips.
Pieterwas Krew i Woda Restaurant serves herring a’la Matjas in the Gdynia style – fried and marinated in home-made marinade – with a campfire-baked potato with dill cream mayonnaise, apple, and pickled cucumber on the side. Północ Południe Restaurant recommends roach in the Kaszuby style (from Kaszuby lakes, marinated, served with sweet onion and elderflower mousse).
Pomorskie also offers plenty of freshwater fish – carp, perch, eel, tench, burbot, pike, roach, and common bream. In May and June, have delicious and mild whitefish, which occurs in deep lakes in Kaszuby and Mazury.
You will find such freshwater delicacies in, among others, Zafishowani Restaurant: trout from Zielenica served with fried vegetables in seasoning, sweet and spicy sweet potatoes, and creamy Feta dip. Majolika Restaurant in Gdańsk recommends river perch with green pea puree, fanciful beetroot sponge, potato gratin, and parsley with gremolata.
As a chef, I make it a point of honour to serve hard-to-find fish. In season, I sometimes manage to get 200-gram fresh pike from the Gdańsk Bay. Marinated fresh pike is our pride and joy. It is a true delicacy since the catch is sometimes very small, of about 4 kilograms. I serve it with nettle pesto and wild strawberries. It is an excellent starter, and to make it more substantial, we also add millet groats. Our menu also offers roach, pike, and perch from local lakes. Our perch is traditional and summery – with potato dumplings and broad bean. Fresh perch is our fish of the day – and it is sometimes really hard to find. Our saltwater fish include Baltic herring in the Kaszuby style with sweet onion, almonds, and raisins. It is traditionally marinated, and its harsh taste is softened by sweet onion. Now is the season for excellent herring, which we serve in the Kaszuby style with garlic or fried with potato salad. The salad is a smash hit – beside herring, it contains leek, crème fraîche, that is French cream soured with citrus fruit, with shallot and baby chives. We use regional products. Another fish served in our restaurant is pike. It tastes best when fried in clarified butter. We also serve it with risotto with ‘Nduja, that is soft Italian cured meat, similar to Kaszuby meat paste. Its spicy taste goes well with the mild taste of the fish.
Kamil Kowalski, Chef at Północ-Południe Restaurant
Świętojańska 130, Gdynia
Forests of Kaszuby
The Tuchola Forest provides the region with fresh venison, that is meat from roe deer or deer, as well as forest fruit, such as blackberry, raspberry, and wild strawberry. From August, Pomorskie forests are full of mushrooms. In May and June, in birch forests, you will find morels – the most expensive Polish mushrooms. There are also plenty of chanterelles. A lot of Tricity restaurants serve dishes with game, mushrooms, and forest fruit.
Las i Woda Restaurant of Notera Hotel SPA offers deer tartare with caramelized sunflower seeds, pickled cucumber, marinated mushrooms, and lovage-bison grass-infused oil.
Czarny Kos Restaurant in Borkowo recommends kaszotto with boletus and tree oyster mushroom. Kubicki Restaurant in Gdańsk serves aromatic boletus soup with rosemary. Sophisticated and elegant Poraj Palace Restaurant recommends rabbit with cream and chanterelles from the nearby forest.
Pomorskie is also a paradise for fowl lovers. The region boasts excellent goose, ducks from local farms, as well as wood grouse and wild ducks. Nordowi Mól Restaurant serves goose loin tartare with onion, cucumber, marinated mushrooms, and a bread roll. 5. piętro Restaurant in IBB Długi Targ Hotel serves an exquisite duck leg confit with yeast dumplings, juniper demi-glace, red cabbage mousse, and baked pear. Gdańska Gvara Restaurant recommends duck breast with cherry smoke, rind, mint and cranberry sauce, Silesian dumplings, and grapefruit and honey salad. White Rabbit from Quadrille Hotel based in Gdynia serves goose’s feather with sea buckthorn. It sounds mysterious but in re-ality it’s a goose breast smoked over cherry wood and panko fried goose leg with a com-pany of a refreshing sea buckthorn gel.
Kaszuby strawberries are so exceptional that their name has been listed in the European Register of Protected Geographical Indications. ‘Kaszëbskô malëna’ is therefore an indication of uniqueness and quality – the certified strawberry may only be grown by growers from the region of Kartuzy and Bytów as well as some districts of Wejherowo, Gdańsk, and Lębork. It is much sweeter than ‘anonymous’ fruit and it owes its aroma to the fertile soil and favourable climate of Kaszuby. Eliksir Restaurant in Gdańsk recommends trout gravada with mustard and horseradish sauce and stewed strawberries relish. Polskie Smaki Café in Sopot Sheraton Hotel serves butter fried whitefish with strawberries and mint and home-made sourdough rye bread. Filharmonia Restaurant offers strawberry and mint sorbet with lemon and meringue crumble and lime syrup. There is no doubt that this exceptional fruit is another reason to visit Pomorskie before holidays.
I think Polish strawberries are the best in the world. Those from Kaszuby are special – they ripen in the sun longer, which makes them sweeter and more aromatic. They taste great solo or served with chocolate, meringue, or crème chantilly. I like bold solutions; I started my culinary career 25 years ago. I have gained experience in, among others, France, which loves pure tastes. I serve Kaszuby strawberries with whitefish from Wdzydze Kiszewskie, in butter sauce with mint. It is a bold combination, appreciated by our guests. Using top quality ingredients ensures top quality of the dish. Whitefish occurs in Pomorze only in Wdzydze Kiszewskie; it is excellent. Me being me, I do not use ordinary butter for the sauce. I opt for mildly pickled cream instead – today, nobody can afford to wait 4 days for mildly pickled cream. I get 84 per cent fat butter with mildly sour taste and mouth-watering aroma. Home-made fresh whitefish, the best strawberries, butter made with loving care, and a bit of mint – that is everything you need.
Chef at Polskie Smaki Café Restaurant
Powstańców Warszawy 10, Sopot
A Leap into Tradition
Regional restaurants also offer a wide selection of products you can take home with you as a souvenir of your trip to Pomorskie. Nordowi Mól Restaurant has its own store with Kaszubskie delicacies, such as smoked goose breast, nordowa sausage, fried herring, and Kaszuby zylc.
Pomorskie also boasts a wide selection of farmstead cheese, honey, and craft beers. Corrèze Restaurant offers a unique composition of tastes: boards of farmstead cheese from local suppliers with Polish spit cake, pickled saffron milk caps, fruit, honey, jam, and bread chips. Another option is goat cheese with ice cream, Polish spit cake, linseed sesame with sea buckthorn and cherries. 1906 Gourmet Restaurant in Ciekocinko Palace recommends Rhubarb Grown in the Dark, that is cottage cheese, sorbet and marinated rhubarb. Piwna 47 Food & Wine Bar in Gdańsk serves caramelized ribs in honey with baked potatoes, salad and a selection of sauces.
Pomorskie is also a paradise for beer lovers. Stary Browar Kościerzyna combines over 150 years of history and tradition with modern technologies. At present, it produces 8 kinds of beer: Lager, Dark 10, Red Lager, Wheat beer, Feelemon, Aipa, Ipa, and Pils. Soon, it will launch the ninth one – non-alcoholic beer, which will be a perfect solution for drivers visiting the brewery. Gdański Browar draws upon brewing traditions dating back to the 13th century. The main brewer in Browar PG4 is Braumeister Johannes Herberg from Germany, residing in Gdańsk. He has gained his experience in a number of countries. He has brewed all beers, from lager, pils, stout, and wheat beer to the flag bottom fermentation beer – Starogdańskie, made to a traditional Gdańsk recipe, which has been available in PG4 from the start. Gdański Bowke Restaurant also offers Goldwassera, that is ‘gold vodka’ – herb and root liqueur produced in Gdańsk since the 16th century. The restaurant uses it, among others, in its pralines. Gdański Bowke recommends beers from regional breweries, including natural, non-pasteurized beer ‘Gdański Bowke’ brewed specially for the restaurant by a small family brewery to traditional recipes of the best Gdańsk brewers. In Tabun Restaurant, you will raise a glass of cider to the soon return to the Polish seaside.
Check out the recommended restaurants at www.pomorskie-prestige.eu.
by: Katarzyna Woźniak