Disadvantages underrated and/or overpriced here
Let me start with an apology and the explanation. The list below is not a list of favourite foods; being a food-obssesive with all the good and bad aspects of that obsession I cannot possibly write a list of 10 favourite foods.However, let me introduce to some foodstuffs that are available in virtually every corner shop and greengrocer in Poland but are either not available here or difficult to find, expensive or, simply terribly underused and underrated.
1) SOUR CHERRIES. I still cannot believe that there is actually a fruit which simply does not seem to exist in Britain in a fresh form. I suspect the problem is linguistic: to you sour cherry are just a kind of cherry (what else could it be). To me a cherry is a cherry is a cherry (czeresnia in Polish); while sour cherry; ah, that is a different story. Sour cherry is not a 'czeresnia', sour cherry is called 'wisnia' (pronounced 'visna'; a Turkish word I believe) and apart from looks does not have that much to do with 'cherry cherry'. It is always red, and the main difference you can tell it by is that it does not retain stalks when picked (you pick them off the stalks rather than with the stalks like normal cherries). The taste? It is, well, sour, but also sweet and tangy, and has a bit of bitter undertaste. It is a very flavoursome fruit, possibly least bland of fruits from Northern climes; and quite a grown up one at that, though many children also like them (Polish children do, anyway).You can just scoff them from a bowl, but I do recognise that this might not be to everybody's taste. However, cooking potential of sour cherry is enormous. It can be made into a pie (I believe some of Tesco's cherry pies are made with sour cherries rather then more common morellos, but they are drenched in too much cornflowery goo for my taste), jam or even better — a wonderful preserve. Imagine digging with a spoon into a jar full of dark-red, sticky, sour-cherry syrup and fishing out those little gems... You can also cook savouries with sour cherry, as in duck with sour cherries. You can pickle them. However, the best thing is to use them to make a sour-cherry liqueur. You start with fruit (unpitted to retain the bitterness of the stones, sugar and spirit (yes, spirit, 97% alcohol, vodka is too weak) some time in July. Wait until at least September, topping up with vodka as necessary. What emerges is a slightly viscous, sweet, bitter and flavoursome liqueur which can be drank neat but also used in deserts and even poured into tea (no milk in THIS tea, please). Ah, you can also eat the fruit.
Please, bring the sour cherry in!!!!2) TWARÓG. I don't know a proper English name for that. If somebody does, please let me know. It is fresh curd cheese, or cottage cheese but it is not broken into small bits, it retains its shape and can be cut into crumbly slices. We sometimes call it white cheese, but Cheshire or Mozzarella are also white and this is not like that. The best approximation is probably to imagine cottage cheese with salt and water taken away and in one, sliceable piece.
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