Polish taste of heaven

Delicacies made by Benedictine Monks from Tyniec near Cracow. Ora et Labora – pray, work and be helpful to other people. Benedictines from Tyniec work out this rule practically everyday supplying the market with organic delicacies which are available across Poland and online.

Whenever you are in Cracow, it is worth visiting the monastery to see for  yourself that it is feasible to combine spiritual life and contribution to society, so well represented by Benedictine brothers. They promote healthy food and assure that old recipes will survive for future generations.   

The café and shop are located on the terrace, from which you can admire beautiful landscapes of the neighbourhood. The church, courtyard and southern wing with lapidary, where the exhibition of Tyniec Monastery heritage is located, are available for exploring. Foreign visitors are guided with English, German, French, Italian and Russian speakers.     

The most popular item among the wide range of products sold, is the wheat and barley flour bread, baked with lots of dry fruits, according to the old recipe of Swiss Benedictine monks from Fishingen. Figs, pears, apples, prunes, apricots, raisins, nuts and no additives, colours, nor preservatives – the bread stays fresh for up to two weeks and explains why the bakery is so popular. The recipe remains a closely guarded secret by the monks.    

Among the comfitures prepared in monastery surroundings, there is unquestionable winner – ‘Brzytewka’ which is cherries in rum. Incredible flavour, which cannot be compared to other jams secured the product a prize in the XV edition of a National Competition – ‘Agro Polska’. The awards were distributed during a ceremonial gala that took place in Łańcut Castle in May 2008. Apart from ‘Brzytewka’ other product were awarded distinctions – candies of Saint Hildegard which are supposed to help any health issues, prepared from verbena, cloves, aniseed fruit, dill, ginger, cinnamon, and liquorice roots.  

With Christmas fast approaching, there will be plenty of food, and here we have more incredible culinary temptations. It would be sinful to reject the monk’s delicacies, so we need to buy them to treat ourselves well. Apart from the bread and jam mentioned, purchases from the online shop www.benedicite.pl can be quite inspirational for mouth-watering goodies and ideas for gifts.  

During my last visit to Poland, I have managed to successful hunt for several heavenly delicacies. My favourites are rose petals comfiture that make pancakes a royal feast and pure apple juice with cinnamon and sweetened with honey. Thanks to visiting the Benedictines, I have found out that I have still had strong association to my childhood recalling the taste of a home made apple juice.        

Joanna Gulbinska

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