Sunday, Jay and I went to the Polish Soup Festival @ St. Florian Church in Hamtramck, MI. Being the Polack’s that we are, we try to stay true to our culture whenever possible. When Jason told me about the festival that he heard about from a co-worker, Victoria, I knew we had to check it out.
The festival was held in the basement of the church and was filled with Polish dancers, traditional dishes, and Polka music!
The food ranged from $3 for a bowl of soup to $10 for a combo plate. We tried samples of the soup for $1:
Polish Military Soup: This is like a Polish play on Bean & Ham Soup, only made with Kielbasa. It was OK. I’m not a huge fan because of the saltiness, but it was something I’ve never heard of and had to try it.
Czarnina (Duck blood soup): My brother’s favorite. I’m not too fond of it because this Polish classic includes fruit (usually raisins and/or prunes) and I don’t think sweet should be in soup. It’s not that it tastes bad, it’s just weird and throws me off.
Dill Soup: My favorite! Includes dill weed, thinly sliced pickles, carrots, celery, and cream based broth. I love this soup because it’s a little sour, but pairs surprisingly well with the cream based broth.
White Borscht Soup: Includes Kielbasa, hard boiled egg, parsley, and potatoes in a cream based broth. The hard boiled egg is my favorite! This borscht was pretty good, but was missing something. I grew up with my Busia (Polish grandmother) making this soup during the holidays. Still, to this day, I have not come across anything that is close to hers which breaks my heart! I attempted to make a soup that was similar and it reminded me of my Busia’s recipe, but still not the same. I’ll have to try it again.
(Pictured: Czarnina, Dill Soup, & White Borscht)
Potato Pierogies: I prefer my pierogies browned in butter, but boiled and topped with butter and onions is good too. The dumpling was tender, but not mushy and paired well with the dill, sour cream, and horseradish.
Combo Plate: Included stuffed cabbage (Golumpki), sauerkraut, kielbasa, and pierogies. The meat filling for the stuffed cabbage was a little dry, but had good seasoning and flavor. I will always prefer my mom’s recipe: Her filling for the cabbage rolls is moist and doesn’t form into a “meat log” underneath the cabbage leaves. The sauerkraut was really good, with a slight sweetness to it, and I liked that there were pieces of kielbasa in it. The guys at the festival were grilling up the kielbasa links in a garage behind the church which gave it that juicy BBQ flavor. Awesome!
The combo plate came with your choice of a dessert. I picked an Apricot drop cookie which was soft, moist, and light. Perfect compliment to all the Polish food we just feasted on.
We couldn’t leave without picking up some Angel Wings (chrusciki): sweet pastry dough that is twisted into “ribbons” and lightly fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. This traditional dessert is light, airy, and melts in your mouth.
If you haven’t tried Polish food you really should because it’s delicious. I frequent Polish Village Cafe in Hamtramck who I believe is the best around here. They have a great menu including some ridiculous dishes that I can’t get enough of. They are located a few blocks from the church and have always been packed (especially on Sunday’s after mass). This local restaurant still does a great job of turning over tables in their small dining room because I’ve never had to wait more than 10 minutes.