Cultivated for centuries, herbs have been used both for preparing traditional dishes and in unconventional medicine. Tourist trails, such as the Małopolska Herbal Village, help discover these slowly-forgotten traditions.
In order to find herb traditions preserved in Małopolska, you have to set off to the Nowy Sącz Region. “The Małopolska Herbal Village Trail” created by Sądecka Organizacja Turystyczna comprises carefully selected agritourism farms, which preserve knowledge about the use of herbs in regional cuisine, as well as unconventional and herbal medicine. Such a journey can definitely be recommended to nature lovers, hikers or simply those who, even for a few days, want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
FROM THE GARDEN TO THE TABLE
Małopolska herbal trail will be appreciated especially by those who look for cuisine that is based on local products. It is very common that hosts prepare dishes from vegetables and herbs cultivated in their home farms. Among them, you can find lovage, tarragon, mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram and lemon balm. The hosts, drawing on the tradition of the region andthe abundance of herbs, certainly do not lack inspiration for the dishes in which they specialize. And so, at the “U Drwali” farm in Drwinia, you can try a rabbit in an herbal marinade; “U Kazka” in Kluszkowce, you will be welcomed with gałuski with cracklings; while at “Ramis”, you can eat the delicacies of Lemkos cuisine, such as Homiłki, Kiesełycia or Kiszeniaki.
TASTE AND HEALTH
The wealth of nature’s gifts will also surprise amateurs of tinctures, meads and syrups. The wide offer of farms located along on the trail includes, for example, quince liquor with herbs, herbal drinks, syrups and mead from dandelion. “Jasna” Villa in Czorsztyn provides lessons on the preparation of tinctures made with herbs coming not only from the garden, but also the surrounding meadows and forests: blackthorn, garden angelica, flower and fruit of elderberry, apple mint, lemon balm and wild rose.
Herbs come down to not only regional cuisine, tinctures and meads – they are also used in alternative and herbal medicine. Visitors setting off on a journey down the trail are interested in, among others, herbal baths, beauty treatments, and aromatherapy. Visitors can also take part in workshops on the recognition, collection and use of herbs, and use the gained knowledge at home.
SUMMER FOR ACTIVE PEOPLE
The agritourism farms on the trail are often active farmsteads, such as “U Drwali” farm located in the vicinity of Niepołomice Forest. Those who value active recreation will be attracted by cycling, quad or horse riding. When sightseeing on the horse back, it is worth familiarizing ourselves with, among others, the offer of the Małopolska Village in the Saddle, the area of which largely coincides with the Małopolska Herbal Village Trail. Amateurs of water sports will find something for themselves at the Czorsztyn Lake, which offers kayaks and sailboats. When communing with nature, getting to know regional cuisine and traditions related to the cultivation and use of herbs, let’s not forget about the culture of the region. An example is Nowy Sącz and its regional open-air museum, salt mine in Wieliczka, the Podhale Museum in Nowy Targ or the Tatra Museum in Zakopane – all of them complemented by views of the Tatras, Gorce and Pieniny Mountains.