Want Polish cuisine? Then go to a community with a large percentage of Poles. Charlotte ranks 135th in North Carolina for its Polish population. Many of the Poles reside in southeast Charlotte. The Queen City is outranked by cities like New Bern, Raleigh, Mooresville, Chapel Hill and Cary. Start with these suggestions.
212 North Polk St.
Pineville, NC 28134
www.zygmapolishdeli.comAuthentic sausages, Polish butter, Kinder chocolate and frozen pierogies are some of the finds at Zygma European Groceries & Deli. Owners Marta and Zygmunt Zelazko are originally from south Poland. They have lived in Charlotte for eight years. The deli offers many kinds of pierogies, a type of dumpling, such as spinach, cabbage, kraut and mushrooms, potato, cheese, cherry, meat and strawberry. Kielbasa or sausage includes Swojka, wedding and double smoked. There is a good selection of cucumbers for that special mizeria recipe. Stuffed cabbage comes in a pack of three with tomato sauce. A delicious selection of cakes shipped in from New York includes poppyseed, cheesecake, apple and blueberry. Marta enjoys preparing hunter’s stew and cabbage soup with potatoes. Also find cheeses, Polish beer, t-shirts, caps, cups and greeting cards.
1322 Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
www.bistrolabon.comBistro La Bon offers an eclectic European menu. The restaurant takes pride in using local ingredients from surrounding farmers’ markets as a first choice. Main dish selections run $15 to $33. They include Maple Leaf Farmers duck breast, Swedish meatballs, Creekstar Farms’ all natural filet mignon and a dish featuring kielbasa, Polish sausage. The pyttipanna is a dish with ribeye, kielbasa, onions and potatoes, topped with a rich Swedish sauce. Polish sausage is usually made of pork, garlic, marjoram, salt and pepper, all enclosed in a hog casing.
5668 International Drive
Charlotte, NC 28270
www.gleibermans.comGleiberman’s Kosher Mart & Restaurant is a Glatt Kosher food provider. This venue offers canned goods, bottled goods, wine, catering and a restaurant. There are many items that can be used in preparing traditional Polish meals. Gefilte fish comes bottled. Gefilte is not the name of a fish, however, it is a mixture of ground fish, such as buffalo, carp, pike or whitefish. In Polish custom, a little sugar is added to the recipe. Stock ingredients are placed in a large kettle to simmer while the fish is prepared. The ground fish is formed into oval-shaped patties and cooked in the stock pot. Patties are served chilled with horseradish, carrots and the jellied fish stock.Related: Nutritionist Reveals Best Fatigue-Fighting Foods
1511 Central Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205
www.novasbakery.comNova’s Bakery offers European breads made fresh from scratch. There are many rustic-style breads perfect for traditional Polish meals. For instance, select a long loaf for the zapiekanka — it’s an open-faced sandwich offered on many of the streets in Poland. The sandwich features sauteed mushrooms, ham or other meats, cheese and is topped with oregano and sweet paprika. It is warmed in an oven for a delicious medley of tastes. The bakery uses organic flours, seeds and herbs.
3006 Mack Ballard Road
Denver, NC 28037
www.ggfarm.comGrateful Growers Farm is a Charlotte-area farm on 10 acres of land. The farm raises hogs for a variety of products. The pasture-raised pork contains no antibiotics, MSG, hormones, nitrates or fillers. Products include sausage, ground pork, shoulder roast, shanks and stew meat. The website offers tips on pork cooking and handling. This is a healthy source of pork for recipes such as kielbasa and potato skillet and the national dish called Polish hunter’s stew or bigos.Related: Best Grilling Gadgets For Your Summer Cookouts
Catherine Lash engagingly connects with people. She has learned that interested listening and thoughtful questioning are the means through which collaboration creates a story. She grew up traveling the world and learning military life in an Air Force family of seven. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and three kids. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.