Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Here to Help

On an impulse, I interrupted my path to the checkout at Alma and headed to the back of the store to see if there was anything interesting on the salad counter. (It's a thrill a minute chez pinolona these days).

After pondering for several moments over various chopped things in mayonnaise, I plumped for something like 'sałatka rubenska' (it had ogórki in it, and I'm a fan. I might have mentioned this).

The woman behind the counter shook her head.

- Oh no, I don't think you want that.

I was a bit taken aback. Had I not said what I thought I'd said? (this happens often).

- Why not? I asked. 'What's wrong with it?'

- It's just not very good.

- Ok, what about that one, next to it?

- Uhh ... no that's not really so great either.

I felt discouraged.

- Which one is good then?

- Oh... pretty much all of them... Except that one. Try potato salad, egg salad....
Spatula in hand, she indicated several different trays loaded with obscure shapes slopping around in oceans of mayonnaise.

- Uhh... actually I'm not really so keen on mayonnaise...

The woman behind the counter looked understandably stumped for a moment (mayonnaise plays a major role in Polish salad culture) and then pointed me towards the tuna.

Tuna and rice. It seemed like a nice, safe idea so I relented.

Thank goodness for Polish customer service, saving me from my otherwise kamikaze appetite for weird Slavic stuff in unknown substances ...


justyna said...

I have nightmares about swimming in a pool of mayo and never making it to the edge of the salad bowl. Why-o-why must you, Slavlandia, drown every piece of vegetable you boil or shred in egg yolk and mustard??????????? WHY!!??

Secret: my hubby’s babcia made a salad for her name’s day from a recipe out of a women’s mag. This was quite a revolutionary step, given her post-war traditional cooking style. The salad had bananas in it. And corn. Plus some sultanas. And some potatoes. The whole thing was ‘dressed’ with mayo. YUM! I felt wretched having to decline a take-home-portion when babcia offered it in a jar. I have to live with my gut. Don’t have to live with babcia…

wiedźma said...

Hi Pinolona. Big thanks for answer my question. You don`t have to appologise I am not sure about my english, but try using it. About this post- for me that is surprise, everywere in english shops I see a pool of mayo and I was thinking that is your`s culture ? I can`t remember about mayo in polish menu? Only one of salad, the special one with many vegetables and potato inside is with mayo. Must something change over there. Anyway, I think the diferent pomiedzy kuchniami is that you eating boil vegetables withaut any sosów but we like put somethink up there. Now I really like eat a pasta with mayo wich I never eaten before ;P O ile w ogóle zrozumiałaś coś z tego tekstu ;P

pinolona said...

bananas and corn? mmm...
I had banana curry in France once. And they say their food is better than ours!

OK fair point on the UK mayonnaise thing. For example: tuna mayonnaise. Tuna and sweetcorn mayonnaise. Cheap pasta salads of various descriptions. Egg mayo. Potato salad (much nicer if you make it with red onions and honey/wholegrain mustard dressing, lovely).
The thing about English food is that you CAN get really good stuff, but you have to sort through an awful lot of junk to find it. Mature Cheddar cheese, for example, is delicious and crumbly: why oh why are supermarket shelves full of that horrid plastic stuff?
Uh.. pork and apple sausages are great, we have some decent fish (I think) and of course STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING (konieczny, incontournable, must-try etc.).
I'm with you on the boiled vegetables too. We do have sauces but people have forgotten how to cook them. The main saving grace of British cuisine is that there is always another option (curry, sushi, Italian, dim sum, Thai, pierogi, etc.)
I'm guessing - from your link - that you're in the UK at the moment. Good luck, hope things are going well!