Woke up extra early this morning to scope out the freshly baked goods being displayed at Polish G.I., a Polish food specialty store in the East Village, that supplies the local Polish and Ukranian immigrants with delicacies from back home.
The first thing I did when I walked in was down one of the jelly donuts. It was way to distracting to get anything else done. Wow!! What a treat. I later found out that all the baked goods, challah, donuts, danishes etc. come from Greenpoint, Brooklyn where most of the Polish immigrants reside.
There was a mound of steaming Kielbasa sitting on top on the counter. Next to them were stacks of crispy flounder schnitzel..OY!! Just right of the schnitzel were latkes (potato pancakes) the size of my head! This place definitely doesn’t kid around. I started talking with the woman behind the counter who just so happens to be the owner, Grace. She is originally from Poland and took over this space from a Ukranian woman 16 years ago. Her children helped her repair the store. There was such a strong homey feeling that overwhelmed the space. Grace told me that everything she cooks is exactly how she was taught back home.
While going through the list of items that Grace prepares daily there was a dish that I have never heard of before, krokiet, a fried breaded, pork filled crepe..uh..Is that legal?!
Along with all the fried wonder there were also cold cuts, smoked and cured meats and fishes..mmm..
One item that stood out in particular was smalec (homemade sandwich lard)… ha ha! Yes!! I asked Grace what that was used for and she said that back in Poland pork lard is used to fry almost everything. It has a higher burning point than most other fats so it gives the best fry, color and obviously flavor.;)
If you want some homemade Polski goods, please give Polish G.I. a shot..;) Grace can do no wrong.