Weaving challah, traditional Shabbat dinner and talks about tea – these are just a few items from the program of the upcoming TISZ Jewish Food Festival. This year’s edition will be devoted to neighborly relations, so participants of culinary meetings will find out, among other things, what flavors and smells of Jewish cuisine can be found in the recipes of the Lemkos, Kashubians and Tatars.
TISZ The Jewish Food Festival takes place in the capital city from Wednesday to Sunday, that is between 22 and 26 September. These five days will include numerous workshops, culinary meetings, walks and discussions. Guests will have the opportunity to meet experts of Jewish cuisine, representatives of ethnic and linguistic minorities, and migrants invited by the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.
– As every year, we organize a festival during the Sukkot festival, also known as the Sukkah festival, or the festival of shelters, which commemorate the journey of Jews through the desert, during which Jews lived in shelters, not in their own homes. This holiday reminds us that not always and not all of us have the opportunity to live in four walls in their own home and sometimes must be in a situation of temporary shelter – says Magdalena Maślak, the originator and coordinator of the TISZ Jewish Food Festival.
This year, the organizers of the festival intend to donate the proceeds of one of the shows to the Salvation Foundation, which helps refugees, immigrants and foreigners. She will receive funds from the sale of tickets for the screening of the film “Breaking Bread” on September 25 at the POLIN Museum. A discussion on whether food can have an impact where politics is not enough is also planned after the screening.
Meetings from the series “Neighbors”
The leitmotif of the fourth edition of the festival is neighborhood relations. “Every day of the TISZ Jewish Food Festival, you will be able to pay attention to your neighbors, those new and those who have been around for many years, and get acquainted with their cuisine. There will also be time to look at how close the relations between neighbor kitchens are, including Jewish and Polish dishes “- announces the museum.
The organizers explain that they reach for this topic due to the recent experience with the pandemic. It is a time that made many of us realize how important a close environment is when it is impossible to leave home and enjoy the charms of restaurants, clubs and cafes.
During the culinary meetings you will be able to get to know Lemko (a show of baking prołziaków), Kashubian (stories about the cuisine of the region), Tatar (a show of preparation of Kalduns), Dutch (a story about Jewish cuisine from Amsterdam) and Vietnamese (a walk around “little Vietnam”, i.e. a marketplace on Bakalarska). All meetings in the “Neighbors” series will be available on the POLIN Museum channel on Facebook and YouTube. In the stationary, only the Sunday walk will take place.
The festival will open on Wednesday at 10 am with a meeting “In search of Jewish food” in the Kręglicki Fortress. There will be stands offering Jewish food in Polish or Polish in Jewish. You will be able to go for a walk between the stalls with a POLIN Museum guide. On Saturday, participants can go for a walk in the allotment garden of Pratulińska, where they will learn how to grow vegetables and flowers in the city. Particular attention will be paid to autumn plants and how to grow pumpkins, aronia, nuts, courgettes, apples, dahlias, asters, heathers and zinnias on the plot. There will also be advice on how to prepare your garden for the coming winter. The second Saturday’s suggestion is “Come on a bagel!”. During the tour around the city, you will be able to try pastries and find out whether the flavors of pre-war Jewish Warsaw can still be found on today’s culinary map of the city.
On Sunday, a walk called “Here you can buy and eat everything” is planned, during which participants will follow the footsteps of no longer existing butcher’s shops, bazaars and shops to see where before the war you could buy the best vegetables, groats and meat.
Jewish menu in milk bars
The festival program also includes a tea meeting for seniors and a conversation about a multicultural journey through traditions, as well as intergenerational workshops with traditional Shabbat delicacies from Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine and weaving challahs together. “Some of the prepared dishes can be taken home, and some will be completed by the Heart of the City cupboard, which supports people in the homelessness crisis” – announce the organizers.
Handicraft lovers can take part in the “Threads of Understanding” workshop, during which they will embroider the names of Jewish dishes in Yiddish and Polish on a two-meter tablecloth. “The organizers also encourage you to sew a cholent with them and invite you to the POLIN Museum cafe club for a workshop on sewing felt vegetables and cholent ingredients on Saturday, September 25. It will also be an opportunity to learn Yiddish concepts related to cooking” – reads the release .
According to the tradition of the festival, on Friday participants will meet for a Shabbat dinner. This year it will be held at the Czytelnik Nowe Wydanie café. “On Friday, the three-course menu will be presented by chef Grzegorz Jankowski and the dessert will be prepared by the confectionery master, Alessia Di Donato. The dinner will be accompanied by a story about Jewish cuisine and its relations with neighboring kitchens, including regional Polish cuisines,” announces the POLIN Museum.
The organizers of the festival invited Warsaw milk bars to participate. In selected venues during this year’s edition of the event, you will be able to try traditional Jewish dishes. The menu includes, for example, pancakes with cheese, i.e. blintzes, potato pancakes, i.e. latkes, cabbage rolls – holiszki.
The full program of the TISZ Jewish Food Festival is available at POLIN Museum website.
Main photo source: Polin Museum