We all know that anytime people think about Poles and their drinking habits – vodka screams at us! Yes, part of it is true. Just like each country has specific food and drinks that is popular there. Poles are used to drinking shots of vodka…but I have to say that usually opinion about it is exaggeration.
Now how about soft drinks? Which ones are popular in Poland? I can definitely tell you that when I was growing up…I barely tasted soda. Kompot (compote) has been always on the table.
Compotes are drinks prepared of fruits – usually fresh, sometimes dried. Sugar is added and sometimes cloves are used as a spice. In Poland the most popular fruits are: apples, morello cherries, currants, cherries, strawberries, pears and a rhubarb. Compote is prepared in the summer and stored for the fall and the winter time. It’s served cold, together with the fruits. A glass of compote is typical dinner drink in many Polish homes.
The so-called ‘susz’, prepared of the blend of dried fruits is a special kind of compote. Susz, in contrast with raw fruit compotes, has a brown color, muddy look and a very peculiar taste. Susz is one of compulsory ingredients of the Christmas Eve supper table. I still remember hiding coke or sprite under the Christmas table….because according to the tradition…we were not supposed to drink soda before midnight.
What else was popular when I was a child? Of course oranżada! Orangeade is – as you probably know – a sweet, alcohol-free, carbonated drink with an orange taste (traditionally). This drink, which travelled to Poland straight from France, spread in the aristocratic Polish cuisine in the 18th century. Basic ingredients of oranzada are sugar and orange juice or syrup.
Oranżada had its period of magnificence during the Cold War. In communist Poland, poorly and insufficiently equipped with goods of any kind, the orangeade constituted one of the basic, bottled drinks available in groceries. There was a technology of producing oranżada of powdered orange juice(!). This products was sold as powder, which dissolved in a glass of water gives you, a faint reminder of a glass of oranzada-type beverage. Another type of oranżada was sold in plastic bags which thirsty one should pierce with a straw. Today the popularity of this drink is definitely smaller, compared with Coca-Cola and other ‘international’ drinks.
Other than that…juices are popular as well as soda, although soda definitely not as popular as in USA…
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)