Byczki (bulls)



One of the things I like so much about Zuza Zak’s book is the amount of history and lore associated with a book ostensibly about Polish dumplings she calls Pierogi. I’ve been making dumplings professionally for over half a century. Besides the fact this is the first time I’ve heard some of the really fascinating history of Poland – a country that William Woys Weaver once said has a diverse, region focused cuisine as varied as France – some of the recipes included are not what I would have considered a pierogi, or even a dumpling. Zuza explains. Take potatoes. Here is an excerpt about them from her new book.

Her video on how she makes byczki is in the showcase now with the description: “Looking at these buttered byczki (the name means bulls) in a dish, we can assume that they are so named because of their shape: wide and stout, with little horns at the edges. “ With leek and apple slaw. Yes, please.

And this includes sweet potatoes, and gray potatoes. “Whether they’re eaten with plenty of dill as a side dish to pork cutlets, fried until crispy the next day with a glass of kefir, enjoyed in the form of dumplings, or eaten straight from the fire in the last light of the setting sun, potatoes are undeniably
a big part of Polish (and Eastern European) cuisine. 

Potatoes have also been a symbol of both hardship and of women’s roles within a poor society. In 2001, artist Julita Wójcik peeled 50kg (110lb) of potatoes at Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw as an exploration of gender roles within Polish society. She made a poignant point, as many of my memories of my babcia Ziuta (who was a cook, both professionally and within the large family) involve her peeling potatoes, and her roughened hands also told that story. However, the symbol of the potato as the quintessential food of the Poles isn’t historically accurate. 

Potatoes came to Poland only after Jan III Sobiecki won the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Even then they were viewed with suspicion by the lower class, though they were used decoratively (in the court gardens) by the nobles. It was only in the 17th century, when the Saxon kings’ policies, mismanagement by the gentry and frequent attacks brought poverty to the peasants that the potato finally became an indispensable part of the Polish diet – through necessity rather than enjoyment.

So, if you can make it you should jump on this Sunday, Sept. 25th at 11AM EST. Passcode: ZuzZZ


Pierogi: Over 50 Recipes to Create Perfect Polish Dumpling by Zuza Zak is available now in both digital format and hard cover the in the US on Amazon and anywhere books are sold.  Photos in the book are by the amazing Ola O. Smit @olasmit. Register to attend a live event on September 25th, 11AM EST of the month of Dumplings at the Vimeo site:  https://tinyurl.com/ybzedfhh , then $10 to PayPal.me/ZuzaZak

$10 gets you the addresses and codes for the demonstrations by Zuza on making dumplings from this lovely, simple and tasty looking book that will have you eager to make dumplings and other things. There is no charge for the live event. No charge for annual members or video makers, but you must register for the live event, though.

Cultures.Group

An annual membership for $75 gets you access to hundreds and hundreds of videos, as well as live events like the one above with 5 videos and to the December events and access to the library until the end of the year on 12/31/2022.



Winter of Our Content



Pierogi: Over 50 Recipes to Create Perfect Polish Dumpling by Zuza Zak is available now in both digital format and hard cover the in the US on Amazon and anywhere books are sold.  Photos in the book are by the amazing Ola O. Smit @olasmit. Register to attend a live event on September 25th, 11AM EST of the month of Dumplings at the Vimeo site:  https://tinyurl.com/ybzedfhh , then $10 to PayPal.me/ZuzaZak

$10 gets you the addresses and codes for the demonstrations by Zuza on making dumplings from this lovely, simple and tasty looking book that will have you eager to make dumplings and other things. There is no charge for the live event. No charge for annual members or video makers, but you must register for the live event, though.

Cultures.Group

An annual membership for $75 gets you access to hundreds and hundreds of videos, as well as live events like the one above with 5 videos and to the December events and access to the library until the end of the year on 12/31/2022.




September Fest


Dumplings, that is. There are so many really brilliant recipes and stories in this book. Each dumpling or recipe has a tale that sounds tasty. And, the history of the ingredients and where the dumplings come from is fascinating. Zuza will demonstrate 5 of them over the course of the month!


Register to attend a live event on September 25th, 11AM EST of the month of Dumplings at the Vimeo site:  https://tinyurl.com/ybzedfhh , then $10 to PayPal.me/ZuzaZak

September 25th Live, plus videos 

Register to attend a live event on September 25th, 11AM EST of the month of Dumplings at the Vimeo site:  https://tinyurl.com/ybzedfhh , then $10 to PayPal.me/ZuzaZak

$10 gets you the addresses and codes for the demonstrations by Zuza on making dumplings from this lovely, simple and tasty looking book that will have you eager to make dumplings and other things. Seriously. You can watch the videos for this event until the end of the year.

No charge for annual members. You must register for the live event, though.


Released in the UK, but also available in digital format and soon hard cover the in the US on Amazon and anywhere books are sold.  Photos in the book are by the amazing Ola O. Smit @olasmit.

Register or Contact

An annual membership for $75 gets you access to hundreds and hundreds of videos, as well as live events like the one above with 5 videos and access to the library. https://paypal.me/FermentsandCultures


Dumplings



Pierogi: Over 50 Recipes to Create Perfect Polish Dumpling by Zuza Zak. The essential cookbook for preparing perfect Polish dumplings at home.

Released today in the UK, but also available online now in digital format in the US on Amazon. Photos in the book are by the amazing @olasmit.

Photo by Ola O. Smit (@olasmit)

Delve deep into regional recipes from all over Poland with the traditional ingredients and stories that define these delicious dumplings. From the Baltic Sea with its abundance of fish, to the unique smoky and sour flavours of the mountainous south and beyond, discover endless options to satisfy every craving. As well as regional classics, Zuza Zak offers sweet and savoury dumplings for every occasion. With new and original creations, plus crowd-pleasing vegan and gluten-free options, Pierogi is a fascinating celebration of this beloved Polish speciality.


Photo by Ola O. Smit (@olasmit)

Sweet curd cheese manty with raspberry sauce 
“Another speciality of the Podlasie area, this recipe is where Tatar manty meet sweet, Polish pierogi. Poland specializes in sweet dumplings, but in many other countries people don’t quite know what to do with them – a sweet lunch? Whoever heard of such a thing? We are certainly not averse to eating a sweet lunch in Poland, and I would like to gently suggest that you try it too one day – or you can add them to your brunch repertoire. “


September 25th Live, plus videos 

Register to attend a live event on September 25th, 11AM EST of the month of Dumplings at the Vimeo site:  https://tinyurl.com/ybzedfhh

$10 gets you the addresses and codes for a series of demonstrations by Zuza on making dumplings from this lovely, simple and tasty looking book that will have you making dumplings and other things quite quickly. 

No charge for annual members (See below). You must register though.

Register or Contact

An annual membership for $75 gets you access to hundreds and hundreds of videos, as well as live events: https://paypal.me/FermentsandCultures


Varenets and Riazhenka



Silky divine varenets. The steps: raw or pasteurized milk is baked for hours until a deep golden skin forms. Lift off the skin and eat it, or save it for later. If you don’t have or don’t want to use an oven, an Instant Pot at 200F for 10 hours works well. Traditionally, this was made when the masonry stove in your house was cooling down.

Once you have your cooked milk, called топлёное молоко in Russian, cool it down. It then gets inoculated with sour cream, buttermilk or milk kefir. A teaspoon of any of the above added per cup of cooked milk is enough. The milk should be about 110F. Make sure your sour cream has live bacterial cultures – not just enzymes.



The more sour cream you add, the thicker it will be. Inoculate it for 6 to 8 hours exactly like yogurt, although 110F is the ideal temperature for this. Any yogurt maker will do, as will your Instant Pot or any place it can stay warm and covered for 6 to 10 hours at 85F or higher. But try to get it to 110F at least.

The baked down milk you make is never really sweet, but even after chilling down and adding the sour cream starter and inoculating it, it’s also not very sour. Just smooth and tasty. By the way, milk kefir can make this a little grainy and a little more sour, so we always use sour cream or buttermilk.



Eating varenets – actually, drinking it chilled – alone is rarely enough. It is typically eaten with other things as a snack. Sometimes these garnishes go in, or on the varenets.

This is an example of how to take varenets and turn it into riazhenka by adding heavy cream. You can actually just add heavy cream to it when eating it. The contrast in tastes and textures makes this a real joy. But add some heavy cream, about 1/4 cup per cup of baked milk, to make riazhenka. It should be much thicker.

As any cook knows sour cream cultured dairy will not curdle, so we really use it in everything. Using varenets and riazhenka as an alternative to sour cream can add a new taste to everything from salad dressings to smoothies to baked goods.

Quick riazhenka with all the garnishes: heavy cream in a bowl, the milk skins, stewed dried figs, sour cream and of course the tan colored silky smooth, thick and chilled varenets. 


Sour Cream, Heavy Cream, Baked Milk Skin, Varenets, and Figs

There is from an event that is an ongoing benefit for World Central Kitchen. This $45 benefit package is available until 12/31/2022. An annual subscription of $75 to Ferments and Cultures – or creating a video for any event during 2022 – gets you in as an annual subscriber with access to hundreds and hundreds of videos in our library as well as future events in 2022. Everything in the library is also viewable until 1/1/2023.

Whether or not you are making a donation or getting an annual membership that also gets you into hundreds and hundreds of videos, you must register at https://paypal.me/FermentsandCultures to get on our mailing list. Otherwise send an email to kojibook@earthlink.net and we’ll figure something out.


Contact

Naturally Fermented Cheeses



  • Whey based thermophilic starter culture at Cascina Lago Scuro – Mozzarela
  • Wooden vats as microbe reservoirs – Ragusano
  • No added starter culture but udder microbes – Langhe Tuma
  • Specific temperature starter cultures from selected animals – St. James

Cross cultural observations on natural or no starter culture cheeses.  The notion of slow fermentation, which like sourdough can lead to more complex flavor and is the antithesis of the industrial approach (fast=safe).  The diversity of pastoralism. Transhumance. Taking cheesemaking to its source, teat and udder health, how fresh healthy milk from healthy animals is the starting point for great cheese.  


Trevor Warmedahl
Saturday, May 28, 2022 07:00 AM Eastern Time https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84516342706
Meeting ID: 845 1634 2706

Passcode: 555505


There is no fee for this event, but it is still part of a benefit for #wckitchen. Whether or not you are making a donation you must register at the paypal.me/FermentsandCultures link. Hit Send and fill in the information. Or jump on now, and do it later if you want to watch later. That includes any of the sessions from this year as well. This $45 benefit package is available until December. 

An annual subscription of $75 to Ferments and Cultures – or creating a video for any event during 2022 – gets you in as an annual subscriber with access to hundreds and hundreds of videos in our library as well as  future events in 2022. Everything viewable until 1/1/2023. #cheese #fermentation #wildfermentation #artisancheese  #culturesgroup #fermentsandcultures


Instagram.com/Milk_Trekker
Contact

May Sours


Schedule for remaining May events. These events are free, but you must use the PayPal link to register (therefore, whatever minimum they have). To register it’s $45 for the entire month and all events, plus all the events from March and April with related videos you can watch until the end of the year. If you have already donated for April or purchased an annual subscription you are not required to do so again for May. $75 Annual subscription for all events and videos from the last 6 years. Please use PayPal.me/FermentsandCultures and note what it’s for.



  • May 20, 2022, 4PM EST (Streaming now for subscribers)
    The Silk Road and the Origins of the Foods we Eat
    Rob Spengler
  • May 21, 2022 , 4PM EST (Live)
    The History of Perso-Arab Cuisine
    Charles Perry
  • May 22, 2 PM EST (Live)
    A tour of history and culture through Russian cuisine
    Darra Goldstein and Kirsten Shockey
  • May 23, 12 PM EST (Live)
    Bread and Community
    Soiree-Leone, Dawn Woodward, Naomi Duguid

May 28, 7 AM EST (Live)
Naturally Fermented Cheeses
Trevor Warmedahl


Raspberry Kvass
Contact

Darra Goldstein and The Kingdom of Rye


April Flours, May Sours
Kundiumi, baked then steamed dumplings filled with mushrooms, sorrel or mustard greens and buckwheat from Darra Golstein’s Beyond the North Wind. Photo by Stefan Wettainen

Schedule for May events TBA, although most likely all live events will take place between May 20 and May 25th. To register it’s $45 for the entire month and all events, plus all the events from March and April with related videos you can watch until the end of the year. If you hav e already donated for April or purchased an annual subscription you are not required to do so again for May. $75 Annual subscription for all events and videos from the last 6 years. Please use PayPal.me/FermentsandCultures and note what it’s for.

Videos being Edited
  • Time and Nature, Making Vatrushky with different fillings, Piroshky using Multipurpose sourdough Recipe – (Amy Halloran and Ellie Markovitch)
  • Sechskornbrot (six grains and seeds bread) and Whole Wheat Sourdough Flatbread (Sangak)(Peiman Khosravi)
  • Whole Grain Khamiri (Whole Wheat Sourdough Flatbread), Dosa (Urad Dal and Rice), Bajra Roti (unleavened millet), Amritsari Kulcha (unleavened, laminated, stuffed bread) – Renu Anshie Dhar
  • Whole Grain Fermented Dumplings and Whole Grain Misos ( Eiko Takahashi)
  • Comparing approaches of pastoral/agropastoral cultures to dairying, cheese making, and land use: Mongolia, Sicily and Albania. (Trevor Warmedahl)
  • The Traditions of Ukrainian Dairy Fermentation (David Asher)
  • Real Bread Bakers by Zev Robinson of TheArtandPoliticsofEating.com with panel discussion on how bread, community, nutrition and agriculture are closely intertwined – (Zev Robinson, Naomi Duguid, John Hutt and William Rubel)
  • Sourdough Yeast Extract and Applications (Heather Willensky)
  • Kaja’s Sour Milk Lady with Berries, Zurek, Hemp Seed Butter, Kama, Winter Kvass (Zuza Zak)
Contact
April Flours, May Sours  Presenters

David Asher, Trevor Warmedahl, Amy Halloran, Ellie Markovitch, Kirsten Shockey, Dawn Woodward, Naomi Duguid, Alex Gunuey, Charles Perry, Laura Valli, William Rubel, Christine Krauss, Ken Fornataro, Daniel Gray, Zuza Zak, John Hutt, Maroua Jellibi, Darra Goldstein, Sean Doherty, Peiman Khosravi, Kinga Vincze, Renu Anshie Dhar, Amy Kalafa, Eiko Takahashi, Heather Willensky, Zev Robinson


Bread and Cheese and Peace


April Flours


“Ukrainian cheesemakers are facing great uncertainties and challenges. Listen to some of their stories, including Olga Ternytska’s @karote777 whom I met on a visit in 2017, on an excellent program recently released by @cuttingthecurd radio with @carlosyescas .

Also; this Saturday at 12pm EST I’ll be talking about the traditions of Ukrainian dairy fermentation as a fundraiser for the @wckitchen and their excellent efforts to feed refugees fleeing the violence.Organized by @cultures.group as part of their April Flours event” by David Asher


To register just for one day of sessions, full schedule below, we are asking for a $15 donation. No replays are promised unless you donate $45 for the entire month and all 20+ sessions that you can watch until the end of the year, however. $75 Annual subscription for all events and videos from the last 6 years. Please use PayPal.me/FermentsandCultures and note what it’s for.

Friday, April 29
  • Time and Nature, Making Vatrushky with different fillings, Piroshky using Multipurpose sourdough Recipe – (Amy Halloran and Ellie Markovitch) Live 12 PM -1:30 PM EST (ZOOM)
  • Sechskornbrot (six grains and seeds bread) and Whole Wheat Sourdough Flatbread (Sangak)(Peiman Khosravi)
  • Whole Grain Khamiri (Whole Wheat Sourdough Flatbread), Dosa (Urad Dal and Rice), Bajra Roti (unleavened millet), Amritsari Kulcha (unleavened, laminated, stuffed bread) – Renu Anshie Dhar
  • Whole Grain Fermented Dumplings and Whole Grain Misos ( Eiko Takahashi) Live 4 PM – 6 PM EST (ZOOM)
     
Saturday, April 30th
Crème fraîche – No Chemicals, No Inoculants, Lots of Goodness by David Asher

  • Comparing approaches of pastoral/agropastoral cultures to dairying, cheese making, and land use: Mongolia, Sicily and Albania. (Trevor Warmedahl) Live 11 AM – 12 PM EST (ZOOM)
  • The Traditions of Ukrainian Dairy Fermentation (David Asher) Live 12- 1 PM EST (ZOOM)
  • Real Bread Bakers by Zev Robinson of TheArtandPoliticsofEating.com with panel discussion on how bread, community, nutrition and agriculture are closely intertwined – (Zev Robinson, Naomi Duguid, John Hutt and William Rubel) Live 1:30 to 3 PM EST (ZOOM)
  • Sourdough Yeast Extract and Applications (Heather Willensky)
  • Kaja’s Sour Milk Lady with Berries, Zurek, Hemp Seed Butter, Kama, Winter Kvass (Zuza Zak)
Contact
April Flours Presenters

David Asher, Trevor Warmedahl, Amy Halloran, Ellie Markovitch, Dawn Woodward, Naomi Duguid, Alex Gunuey, Laura Valli, William Rubel, Christine Krauss, Ken Fornataro, Daniel Gray, Zuza Zak, John Hutt, Maroua Jellibi, Sean Doherty, Peiman Khosravi, Kinga Vincze, Renu Anshie Dhar, Amy Kalafa, Eiko Takahashi, Heather Willensky, Zev Robinson


Whole Grains for Ukraine


Friday, April 29, Starting at 12 PM EST

Time and Nature, Making Vatrushky with different fillings, Piroshky using Multipurpose sourdough Recipe – (Amy Halloran and Ellie Markovitch) Live 12 PM -1:30 PM EST

To register just for this session, full schedule below, we are asking for a $15 donation. No replays are promised unless you donate $45 for the entire month and all 20+ sessions that you can watch until the end of the year, however.

$75 Annual subscription for all events and videos from the last 6 years. Please use PayPal.me/FermentsandCultures and note what it’s for.




Friday, April 29
  • Time and Nature, Making Vatrushky with different fillings, Piroshky using Multipurpose sourdough Recipe – (Amy Halloran and Ellie Markovitch) Live 12 PM -1:30 PM EST (ZOOM)
  • Sechskornbrot (six grains and seeds bread) and Whole Wheat Sourdough Flatbread (Sangak)(Peiman Khosravi)
  • Whole Grain Khamiri (Whole Wheat Sourdough Flatbread), Dosa (Urad Dal and Rice), Bajra Roti (unleavened millet), Amritsari Kulcha (unleavened, laminated, stuffed bread) – Renu Anshie Dhar
  • Whole Grain Fermented Dumplings and Whole Grain Misos ( Eiko Takahashi) Live 4 PM – 6 PM EST (ZOOM)
     
Saturday, April 30th
  • Comparing approaches of pastoral/agropastoral cultures to dairying, cheese making, and land use: Mongolia, Sicily and Albania. (Trevor Warmedahl) Live 11 AM – 12 PM EST (ZOOM)
  • The Traditions of Ukrainian Dairy Fermentation (David Asher) Live 12- 1 PM EST (ZOOM)
  • Real Bread Bakers by Zev Robinson of TheArtandPoliticsofEating.com with panel discussion on how bread, community, nutrition and agriculture are closely intertwined – (Zev Robinson, Naomi Duguid, John Hutt and William Rubel) Live 1:30 to 3 PM EST (ZOOM)
  • Sourdough Yeast Extract and Applications (Heather Willensky)
  • Kaja’s Sour Milk Lady with Berries, Zurek, Hemp Seed Butter, Kama, Winter Kvass (Zuza Zak)
Contact
April Flours Presenters

David Asher, Trevor Warmedahl, Amy Halloran, Ellie Markovitch, Dawn Woodward, Naomi Duguid, Alex Gunuey, Laura Valli, William Rubel, Christine Krauss, Ken Fornataro, Daniel Gray, Zuza Zak, John Hutt, Maroua Jellibi, Sean Doherty, Peiman Khosravi, Kinga Vincze, Renu Anshie Dhar, Amy Kalafa, Eiko Takahashi, Heather Willensky, Zev Robinson


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