Some say the Internet is robbing us of a sense of community. I would say that it opens up a new community. To illustrate, let me tell you about a recent experience. Because a reader (of this blog) is involved is public relations for the City of Poznan, I was invited to workshop for Polish food bloggers and the media at Cukiernia Koperski, a bakery famous for their St. Martin’s croissants. (Thanks, Damian!)
I’ll tell you more about St. Martin’s day in Poznan in November. It will be my first time to experience it firsthand. The traditional food in Poznan on St. Martin’s day is a filled croissant; other than the ones sold in the old square to tourists, it’s only available this time of year, but residents of Poznan will consume 600 tons of the pastry next month!
|Trying my hand at rolling|
I wanted to prepare this local pastry for my food blog, so I have been searching online studying recipes. I will still have to use an internet recipe, the bakery told us what they put in their croissants, but the exact proportions are secret. There are certain ingredients that are required because “Rogale świętomarcińskie” is registered with and protected by the European Union. In order to use this name bakeries must also be certified by the City of Poznan and local bakers’ guild. The filling, which is nut based, must also include white poppy seeds. All of the ingredients must also be certified for this product,. That means they can’t look for the best buy on eggs, butter, or flour; they must use certified eggs, butter, and flour, and the weight of the roll must be at least 250g (over half a pound). You can see how this becomes a pricey pastry. They sell for 9 PLN or about $3.
Because of the restrictions, this pastry is only produced in and around Poznan, however, this year, they’re being sold on allegro, an eBay-like website, and they’ll be available to all of Poland. The shops selling the certified pastries display a certificate to assure shoppers that they’re buying the real deal.
Now a few words about the bakery and the final product. Piotr Koperski opened the bakery in 1984, and it has won numerous awards. His son, who also works in the bakery, recently placed second in a international competition for pastry chefs. Piotr told us that he sampled white poppy seeds from six different sources before choosing the freshest to use in this pastry. It’s no wonder then, that my husband, who is about to celebrate his third St. Martin’s day in Poznan, said that the sample I brought home was the best he’s ever tasted.
I also want to thank Paulina, my interpreter for the day. Paulina tells me that she is a Poznan tour guide, and I’m looking forward to seeing the city with her.
PS – As the only American, I was asked to do two TV interviews. I told them that I was happy to be there and learn more about this Poznan culinary tradition, and that I did intended to bake some of my own.
I wish I could be as funny as my husband, who was interviewed a few weeks after he arrived in the country It was on St. Martin’s day 2009. He was asked what he liked about Poland and answered with a long list of things. The interviewer then said, “There must be something about Poland you don’t like.” Without missing a beat, Ed replied, “I hate Wisła Krakow!” (our football rival) Now that’s thinking on your feet!