Visiting Poland through rogale

9 Feb

Having grown up in a relatively new country, I am always amazed by the astounding and rich histories of other countries in the world. The United States has a remarkable and courageous past, but it simply hasn’t been established long enough to rival the age of older countries. Last year I was in Macedonia while reading a Bible passage about the Apostle Paul traveling to Macedonia. How crazy is that? Our country we’re “visiting” today is Poland, and its history is no exception, dating back to the 900’s.

I have to admit that I never thought much about Poland until I had the lovely opportunity of living with a Polish woman for five months. She was proud of her background and frequently spoke about her homeland. And she brought multiple jars of food her grandmother made by hand – pickled cabbage, mushrooms and cucumbers.  I realize this might not sound appealing, but I promise that pickled cabbage is surprisingly appetizing and flavorful.

The main flavor in my international food this week, rogale cookies, is less dubious than cabbage – butter! No one can question the tastiness of butter. Plus, rogale are pretty simple to make. The version I made called for a filling of chopped nuts and dried cranberries. The filling is spread onto triangles of dough and then rolled up into crescents. When I took the rogale out of the oven, they were flaky on the outside and gooey in the middle. I could easily eat three in one sitting!

Rogale are Polish, but foremost they are Jewish. Sadly, when I (and most Americans) think of Poland, I remember Hitler and the oppression of the Jewish people there. Even the main tourist attractions convey this: Auschwitz, one of the Nazi’s largest concentration camps, and the former Jewish ghetto, a small area in Warsaw where all Jews were forced to live while under Nazi rule.

But Poland is more that, with stunning mountains, lakes and national parks. It is also full of beautiful old buildings, monasteries and churches. Just looking at pictures of old Polish buildings online makes me want to jump on a plane headed there.

Random Fact: Apparently another popular tourist attraction in Poland is what they call Milk Bars. When I first read this, I was excited, conjuring up images of different flavored milks and possibly yogurt. However, a Milk Bar is merely a cheap cafeteria started in the communist days. “Milk” is in the title because the original fare was mostly inexpensive dairy products. Still, these historical cafes are few and far between, so if you ever have the opportunity to dine in one, I would encourage you to do so!

What’s the biggest draw of Poland for you? The beautiful landscape? The rich history? The historical buildings?


8 Responses to “Visiting Poland through rogale”

  1. bergtholds February 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    If I went to Poland, it would be for the history. Buy, of course, I’d look for a Milk Bar to try!

  2. Confessions of a Quotaholic February 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    This is a wonderful blog! I really enjoy blogs about history and food about different countries. I really like how you are getting deeper into the country’s culture other than just plain and simple stuff we can find on google! GREAT JOB!

  3. organizacja pogrzebu mysłowice February 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    I’m sure, that is a really good blog. Many thanks for your effort.

  4. Nanette R. February 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Love your blog (found it when your mom posted a link on Facebook)!!! I was able to visit Poland a few years ago on a mission trip and the main food item I remember were pierogies, filled with any number of things. My favorite thing about Poland is the beautiful pottery!

    • cabergthold February 23, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

      Glad you like my blog! 🙂 I hadn’t come across pierogis when I researched Poland, but they look really good! Maybe I’ll try them sometime.

  5. caffeinespotter July 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    If you liked rogale, you definitely should have tried Rogale Swietomarcinskie – a special kind of those, made in Poznan, Poland only (the true ones) 🙂 they can hardly be called “cookies” cause they’re simply too big.

    I whish I could find something more about those but just go the below french wikipedia article 😦

    Try finding something more about this 🙂 It’s really worth it if you want some more complete rogal experience 😀

    • TravelingByTaste July 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

      Those look really yummy! I’d like to try those soon 🙂 Thanks for the info!


  1. Visiting Serbia through burek « Traveling by Taste - February 15, 2012

    […] week I made rogale cookies from Poland. This week I’m featuring another pastry, but this one is savory instead of sweet. […]

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