Found in the middle of Europe, Poland just might be one of the most underrated treasure troves of natural and cultural riches.
With a complex history, cultures from the East and West of Europe collide to create an amalgamation of great potential.
The bounty of its forests and lands lay groundwork for excellent quality of agricultural products on par with many more well-known regions.
Having visited farmlands in Poland as well as food manufacturing factories, the only thing lacking for the flourish of Polish food products in this part of the world is probably awareness.
Tasting the fresh foods and dining experience in Poland has created an extraordinary memory not easily forgotten. So many Polish products go unnoticed due to their proximity, but I can attest firsthand the quality of Polish food products.
Exports of Polish products to Singapore might not be well-known (other than Vodka, of course), but it’s high-time we recognize the value-for-money they can give.
Further down, I’ll be highlighting some key food products from Poland that’ll convince you to switch over from your usual brands. And yes, they are available in Singapore too.
1. Polish Dairy (Milk and Cheese)
Dairy processing in Poland has been going on for ages since the 19th century, converting this raw resource into one of the most developed food products coming out of the country.
Lactima and Polmlek Cheese are two such traditional Polish brands to produce cheese and milk using modern technology under strict quality control guidelines.
The best quality of milk comes from selected farms to create various types of cheese perfect as additions to sandwiches or for wine sessions. Although Singapore tends to get its dairy mostly from New Zealand or Australia, the pricing of Polish dairy is a lot more competitive without compromising on quality.
Available at: Fair Price, Sheng Siong, Redmart
2. Polish Vodka
This well-loved alcohol most certainly originates back to Poland where it was initially used as medicine.
Nowadays, Vodka is a staple seen in clubs and bars synonymous with ‘having a good time’ – And the best brew comes from Poland.
Amongst the well-known Polish vodka brands like Belvedere, there is also Wódka Wyborowa which received the International High Quality Trophy at Monde Selection‘s World Quality Selections in 2012 along with many other awards.
The truly unique flavoured Polish vodka I vehemently recommend though, is the bison grass vodka: Żubrówka.
This authentic brand is flavoured with a tincture of bison grass which also gives the spirit its yellowish colour.
Deliciously soft, smooth and an aromatic character unlike any other spirit, having Żubrówka chilled and straight up as a shot will change your perspective on vodka shots forever.
Available at: all leading supermarkets, specialist retailers, bars/restaurants
3. Polish Chocolates
Chocolates are hugely favoured in Poland, with most locals going for traditional milk-based flavours. Chocolate exports overseas are also billions of Euros in value because of its superb quality.
Amongst these chocolates, the Ptasie mleczko is a soft chocolate-covered candy filled with soft meringue or milk soufflé (kinda like a marshmallow) that was invented in Poland by Jan Wedel, owner of the E. Wedel chocolate company in 1936.
One of the oldest chocolate brands in Poland, E. Wedel has been producing chocolates for over 160 years with generation after generation perfecting the craft. Try the traditional Ptasie mleczko the next time you’re near Mustafa!
Available at: Mustafa Centre
4. Polish Apples + Cider
Poland is one of the largest exporters of apples within Europe, and Singapore has also landed on its radar. There are two varieties of apples from Poland which Singaporeans have a chance to buy in Cold Storage – Red Prince for a strong, sweet and sour taste, or Golden Delicious which is creamy, juicy and slightly tart.
Apples from Poland are perfect for an every day healthy snack and also for use in cooking recipes.
Available at: Cold Storage, Sheng Siong, Mustafa Centre
With such an abundance of apples, it’s no surprise that many products like Cider are a result of this raw material. Cider wasn’t very popular back in the day compare to wine, but youngsters have started indulging in this refreshing alcoholic beverage along with the trend.
One such Cider brand is the Cydr Lubelski, a refreshing, low-alcohol sparkling apple wine from Lublin Province.
Being the fourth largest producer of apples in the World, Polish cider is definitely here to stay as the next “in” thing.
Available at: Big Box shop, Thirsty Beer Shop, Jones the Grocer shops, www.targ.sg
5. Polish Honey
Poland used to be dubbed the “land of milk and honey” due to its centuries-rich culture in beekeeping. There are over 40,000 apiarists in Poland and the number of bee families has been recently estimated at around 1 million.
A natural and valuable food product, honey contains vitamins and unique enzymes with numerous beneficial properties.
You don’t want to miss out on Polish fresh honey, which has the thick consistency of syrup and crystallizes in storage. Sweet tastings are definitely made attainable.
Available at: 101 Upper Cross st. #01-P8 and #01-05J People Park Centre ; B1-52A.JPG Bukit Timah Plaza ; Beach Road #01-43 Golden Mile Tower
Want to give Polish foods a try? Find out more about imported Polish food products at www.polandshiok.sg