Most Poles – in common with many continental Europeans - adore the taste of wild mushrooms and because of this many will spend a lot of the spare time wandering around the forest of Poland during late Summer and Autumn / Fall seasons looking chiefly for Chanterelle (pieprznik / kurka), Podgrzybek (bay bolete) Mushrooms, and Borowik (boletus / porcini) mushrooms. Many of the Chanterelles they find will be eaten fresh but probably most of the Podgrzybek and Porcini mushrooms will be dried for use later in the year. Once dried wild mushrooms are stored in a in an airtight container and can safely be kept for around 12 months.
Dried mushrooms should always be before re-hydrated before use and not just added to a recipe. This is how we rehydrate our dried mushrooms …
- Boil some water and add to a bowl.
- When the water has cooled down slightly, add some dried mushrooms to the water. The water should be hot but not at boiling temperature.
- Remember that dried mushrooms increase in volume around 3 to 4 times after they have been soaked, so don’t soak more than you need. 100 grams of dried mushrooms will yield between 300 grams and 400 grams of mushrooms once they have been rehydrated.
- Soak the mushrooms for a minimum of 30 minutes. Better still, overnight if you have the time.
- Drain from the water and use the mushrooms in your recipe.
- The water will have a wonderful mushroom favour and can also be used in recipes. If you do use this broth be sure to strain it first to remove any sand, grit or earth!
Related content on Polish Poland: our delicious recipe for mushroom sauce.
Independence Day is a national day in Poland celebrated on the 11th November each year to commemorate the anniversary of the restoration of a Polish state in 1918 after 123 years of partition by the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and the Habsburg Empire. It is a national holiday in Poland. Buildings and streets throughout the country will have Polish flags flying. Polish television and radio broadcast patriotic films and songs. And parades and events take place in many towns and cities.
As the date also marks the end of fighting in the First World War, Poland’s Independence Day falls at the same time as Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, or Veteran’s Day, celebrated by other countries.
A selection of images of pre-1945 Lissa / Leszno, Poland. Click on any image to enlarge.
Lissa into Leszno into Lissa into Leszno
From 1793 the town was part of the Posen province of Prussia and named Lissa. Following the end of the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles the town became part of Poland and renamed Leszno. In the 1939 the town was annexed by Germany and incorporated into the Reichsgau Wartheland, and once again named Lissa. After the defeat of Germany in the Second World War the town returned to Poland and the name Leszno used once again.
Three things you might not know about Leszno:
- In the census of 1905, 79% of the population of Lissa stated that they were German.
- In a similar survey in 1939, 89% of the population of Leszno stated that they were Polish.
- Leszno has one of the largest and best preserved synagogues in the Wielkopolska Region of Poland.
Related content on Polish Poland: Images of Leszno in the 1970s.
Edward Rydz-Smigly (Rydz-Śmigły) was a Polish army officer and politician; who on the death of Joseph Piłsudski, became Marshal of Poland and Commander-in-Chief of Poland’s armed forces / General Inspector of the Armed Forces. Rydz was in charge of the Polish army during the Invasion of Poland in 1939. He died of heart failure in Warsaw in December 1941 and is buried at Powazki Cemetery.
Related content on Polish Poland; Marshall Pilsudski.
Here are four lovely scanned images of old Poland from our picture archive. These romantic scenes showing courting couples were published as picture postcards in the late 1910s by a publisher in Lodz, Poland, and all posted to a lady in Poznan. Click on any image to enlarge and see more detail.
The pumpkins we carved for Halloween. Since the fall of communism Halloween has become increasingly popular.
Contrary to what we’ve noticed reported elsewhere Halloween (All Hallows’ Evening) is most definitely celebrated in Poland! It is a fairly recently arrived tradition but is celebrated by children and parents throughout Poland – from the smallest village to the largest city. Pumpkins are carved into jack-o-lanterns; children dress up as witches, Dracula, and scary pirates; and Halloween costume parties complete with apple-bobbing and similar party activities are put on. Indeed, apart from the rarely seen trick-or-treating activity, Halloween in Poland is becoming much the same as Halloween in western Europe or America.
A Halloween colouring picture. Click to enlarge picture. Right click to save, print, and colour in!
Halloween is though not to be confused with the more important and traditionally Polish All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Wianki is a Midsummer Solstice Festival involving primarily the launching of wreaths of flowers into water. It is an ancient Polish pagan rite connected with fertility, ritual purification, and fortune telling. The manner in which a wreath floats on the lake, down the river or stream is believed to foretell which girl will soon be married. Wianki takes place all over Poland during the Kupala Night (Noc Kupały) celebrations on the 23rd June each year.
Wianki is also the name of a well-known annual event, which takes place near Wawel Hill in Krakow. The event in Krakow is a large commercial festival with music, fireworks, bonfire jumping, and, of course, the floating of wreaths down the Wisła river.
Three old images from our picture archive of Górki, Lubuskie, Poland. These photographs were all taken before the First World War when Górki Noteckie was part of Germany and named Gurkow.
A 1912 photograph of the main street through Gurkow in former Neumark, now Górki, Lubuskie, Poland.
An old photograph of children in a boat on the River Pełcz in Górki / Gurkow in 1912.
The church in Gurkow / Gorki and children paddling in the stream opposite in 1912. Click to enlarge image.
Górki Noteckie is a village on the River Pełcz in the Lubuskie province of western Poland.
Related content on Polish Poland: Old images of the nearby village of Zdroisko / Zentzthal
Alternatywy 4 (Alternative Street) was an early 1980s Polish comedy television series based on a residential apartment block estate in Warsaw, Poland. Nine episodes of 55 minutes long were made. Each of these programmes has probably been watched many times by every adult Pole with a television. Alternatywy 4 is an absolute classic of the communist-era. Top satire! Super comedy!
Watch the first episode right here by clicking on the arrow in the middle of the image above.
Alternatywy 4 featured many fine actors including: Hanna Bieniuszewicz, Stanislawa Celinska, Anna Chitro, Bozena Dykiel, Kazimierz Kaczor, Wojciech Pokora, Witold Pyrkosz, Roman Wilhelmi, and Mieczyslaw Voit.
Chocolates, sweets and candy from Poland. Top makers include: Wedel, Goplana, and Wawel.
Poland produces a fine selection of chocolate and sweet snacks. Our picture features a random selection, which we regularly enjoy! We recommend any candy bar made by the Wedel or Wawel chocolate makers and classic Polish chocolate bars such as Grzeski and Jezyki by Goplana; Prince Polo by Olza / Kraft; and the Princessa chocolate bar made by Nestle in Poland. And don’t miss the delight which is Ptasie Mleczko (Bird’s Milk) – a chocolate covered marshmallow – made by Wedel.
Four of many great Polish sweets – Grzeski gofree, Wawel Maciek toffi, Jezyki classic, and Wedel’s Aha! sesame bar.