Culinary tourist guides combine the advantages of traditional guidebooks that help plan trips and present the region’s attractions together with titbits about places that no gourmet can miss.
One of such guides is a work written by Elżbieta Tomczyk-Miczka which was published by Malopolska Organizacja Turystyczna (Tourist Organization of Malopolska). Let’s take a look at one of the trails described by the author: through the devilish Babia Góra and the angelic Lanckorona.
“AMONG WHEAT ROWS”
The region of Babia Góra, Sucha Beskidzka, and Podbabiogórze is the area where a Devil and an Angel clash with each other. The former is associated with Babia Góra, lying to the west of Zakopianka, and one of its peaks – Diablak. The Angel proudly watches over the market in the idyllic Lanckorona known from the song by Marek Grechuta about picturesque village in Wadowice County. In the close vicinity of the market, on Świętokrzyska street, you can find the always brimming with guests Arka Café, adjacent to the Ceramics Art Gallery. One of the specialties of the restaurant are dumplings (e.g. with groats, bacon and parsley) – many people from Kraków come here just to try them. Siwek Bakery is located a few steps away. Delicious buns, breads and rolls have been baked here unchanged since 1925.
TOASTING WITH SERVICE-BERRY BRANDY
The Medieval culture can be found in the cuisine served in taverns and inns that are as old as the mentioned monuments. An example is an inn from the 16th century located in Krzywaczka that remembers the times of the Tsar’s Way from Vienna to Kraków, where Lesser Poland Pope’s Trail runs today. In addition to the regional cuisine served here, the inn organizes occasional and local events, such as the Rowan Festival celebrated every year on the first Sunday of September – a treat for fans of regional preserves and tinctures.
“THEY EAT, DRINK AND SMOKE”
Let’s move from Krzywaczka to Rome, however not the one located in sunny Italy, but a place at the market in Sucha Beskidzka, which is much younger, as its history only dates back to the 18th century. The “Rome” Inn, whose name refers to Mickiewicz’s ballad, abounds in the traditions and flavours of Podbabiogórze cuisine, prepared on an old coal stove. A must-try dish is “Speciality of Twardowski” –based on pork loin fried on fat, with the addition of spices.
IN THE HEART OF THE BESKIDS
There is also a young road that leads to another inn in Kocierz. We are talking about the oldest hard- paved trade route in Poland, Gościniec Kocierski (Kocierski Roadway). It is here in Targanica that the “Kocierz” Inn is located. The inn is decorated in the Podhale style and hosts highlanders’ bands. Guests tired of hiking will easily satisfy the biggest hunger here – the menu includes, among others, “Shephard’s breakfast” or “Devil’s trough”. It is worth making a visit to the larder and stocking yourself up on a memorial jar full of flavours, such as aromatic venison pate or blueberry confiture.
A DISH FOR A ROUGE
Another inn on the trail is Karczma Zbójnicka (Rogue Tavern). In addition to the traditional sauerkraut soup on ribs, dumplings with mutton or sour soup with egg and sausage, the menu also includes vegetarian dishes (e.g. “Kociołek Gaździny” (Patroness’ Pot) with chickpeas and zucchini). Located in Zawoja Policzne, the tavern is adjacent to Zbójnicka Chapel. Erected at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, the brick chapel was founded by robbers who wanted to redeem their sinful transgressions in this way.