Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Apr 7, 2015: Obwarzanek vendor, Krakow

obwarzanek vendor, Krakow

 

 

KrakÓw is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Our visit to Krakow was a surprising delight. Not knowing what to expect, although we did some research, we found something interesting around and on every corner.

 

The highlight for us was sampling the local fare. The Krakow snack of choice is obwarzanek, a palm-size twisted ring of bread strewn with poppy seed, sesame or salt. Street vendors sell the obwarzaneks all over the downtown area. They are a cross between a bagel and a pretzel, soft to chew and very tasty. They are very cheap, only a few zlotys, and the locals usually have these as a snack on their way to work or something for mid-morning. We were buying 3 or 4 at a time and just snacking on them as we were exploring the city.

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The journey starts with you. Just open that door and start walking!

 

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I was driving across Poland to Czech Republic in October and decided to spend a night in Cracow and was surprised by several things:

 

  • The town was jumping on a weeknight, which made hotels expensive (relative to other places in Poland), and a vacancy hard to find.
  • Everyone in town seemed to be under 30 years old, kind of the Portland of Eastern Europe.
  • Parking was hard to find and costly.
  • Once in a hotel and parked, the town was an absolute delight to walk around with beautiful streets and people. Food, Piwo, and festivities were cheap and fun.

If you drive to this City, brush up on Polish traffic laws regarding light rail trams. You will find yourself in conflict with them often (questioning things like can I pass on the right between the trolley and the curb? etc. etc.).

 

I enjoyed the place so much I want to go back and spend a few more nights. It is also a good location to stage a visit to nearby Auschwitz from.

 

The obwarzanek seems very similar to the Turkish simet, sold on corners all over Istanbul, and also cheap. Mostly sesame version, but occasionally others. A really good snack, and also excellent with kaymak, the buffalo milk creme fraiche.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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