One of the greatest pleasures of living in Bedford is that it’s the home of many cultures – a multicultural town embracing all.
Coming over to the UK from abroad can be daunting. Moving to Bedford definitely makes the transition easier. As a Polish individual, living within such a vibrant community in Bedford has made it feel as though I’m close to home.
The number of opportunities Bedford has for the Polish community is incredible. There are several local Polish shops, maintaining our cultural origins, allowing us to enjoy our favourite cultural foods.
Here are some of my favourite polish foods that I’d love for you to try:
Starting off with snacks there’s ‘Śmiejżelki’ – sweets made from fruit juice. Something soft and sweet to snack on. Available in most polish shops and a necessity to try.
Another snack is ‘pączki’ which are Polish doughnuts. It is a round yeast dough, typically filled with strawberry or raspberry preserve that is fried and topped with sugar icing.
It is most commonly eaten on what is known as ‘Tłusty Czwartek’ aka ‘Fat Thursday’. It is a popular Polish tradition, occurring on the last Thursday before Lent with many Polish people eating as much as possible. Definitely do not count the calories.
A bonus of being a Polish person in England is that we can also enjoy Shrove Tuesday/pancake day two days before.
Images: Robert Brady Photography
When walking into the Polish shops, the smell of fresh meat takes me back to Poland.
Kiełbasa is a type of meat sausage – a huge part of Polish cuisine. It is always on the table during most occasions within Polish households. It can be quite daunting going into a Polish deli and seeing unfamiliar products on the meat counter, so kielbasa is a good place to start.
Finally, ‘Kubuś’ is a natural juice made from carrots along with other fruits. It reminds me of my childhood years when I used to drink this with my cousins in Poland.
I absolutely recommend for you to try my favourite foods from Poland. What better way than to familiarise yourself with the Polish culture in Bedford.
by Mikolaj Mackowiak
Bedford Independent guest editor