Polish Cottage Cheese

Name and pronunciation: twaróg [t-fah-rook]
Description: cottage cheese
Type of cuisine: Eastern European

Twaróg is dry variety of quark very popular across various Eastern European cuisines. In Polish, another name for this kind of cheese is simply “white cheese” ser biały [seh-r biah-we]. It is delicate, crumbly and slightly sour. Unfortunately, it has to easy replacement in local shops, but you can get in any Polish shop. It is worth the trip!

Uses:

Pierogi, pierogi leniwe (lazy pierogi), sernik, traditional Polish pancakes, pasta, cheese spreads.

Tips:

01
There are few types of cottage cheese. You can choose between full-fat 10%, semi-skimmed 5% and skimmed 0,5%. I always choose full-fat option. It is creamy and it is truly best for cooking and baking.

02
If you are planning to bake a traditional Polish cheese cake, look for an option that is pre-ground cheese available in 1 kg buckets. Otherwise, you will have to do it yourself three times!

Enjoy!

Polish Sour Cream

Name and pronunciation: śmietana [sh-me-eh-tah-nah]
Description: sour cream
Typo of cuisine: Eastern European

In Polish cuisine, sour cream is so important. It is not often used as an actual ingredient, but it is not a mere garnish either! There are some dishes that are just not finished without sour cream. In fact, if you ask for “cream” in Poland, you will get sour cream as a default.

Uses:

Different sorts of dumplings (pierogi, leniwe, kopytka, etc.), potatoes (young, boiled potatoes, potato pancakes, etc.), soups, sauces and salads instead of greek yoghurt.

Tips:

01
In Polish, śmietana means sour cream, but by śmietanka (“little cream”) we mean crème fraîche.

02
Buy Polish sour cream if you can. I always look for local replacements when it comes to cooking abroad, but Polish sour cream really is different. First of all, we have a choice of fat content, but the most popular ones are 12% and 18%, which is rather uncommon in Luxembourg. Also, it is slightly more sour and creamier than the Luxembourgish counterpart.

03
If you do not have an access to a Polish shop, do not fret. Try to source a local version of sour cream and adjust it. In Luxembourg, you can buy a version with 30% fat content, so you will need to dilute it with yoghurt (“Fjord” is the absolute best since it already has a consistency and flavour similar to Polish sour cream) or a dash of milk, until it has a consistency of very smooth, thick greek yoghurt. If it feels a little too sweet, you can add few drops of lemon juice.

Enjoy!