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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » September 2, 2011
Regional and Traditional Products
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Kołocz ¦l±ski
September 2, 2011   
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At the end of July, the kołocz ¶l±ski pie was added to the EU list of protected food products. It is the 29th product from Poland to be registered by the European Commission as a Protected Geographical Indication item, joining delicacies such as the rogal ¶więtomarciński, andruty kaliskie, obwarzanek krakowski, and chleb r±dnicki.

Kołocz (or kołacz) ¶l±ski is a rectangular pie around 3.5 centimeters thick and available in three traditional variations with cheese, poppy-seed or apple filling, or no filling at all. It has a golden crumble topping with powdered sugar and a high butter content, which gives the topping a rich flavor. The topping in kołocz ¶l±ski is also thicker than those used in other parts of Poland. Another feature which distinguishes kołocz ¶l±ski from similar products is its shape, as kołacz pies from other regions of Poland are round.

Kołocz ¶l±ski is distinctive for its long tradition, scent and taste as well as its significance in local culture. Silesia is a border region whose inhabitants cherish their traditions and cultural heritage. The tradition of serving kołocz at important occasions, especially weddings, dates back centuries. There is even a legend according to which many, many years ago, tiny gnomes from the valley of the Nysa River taught a clever girl how to make kołocz and then passed the recipe on to other people in Silesia.

Kołacz pies have been baked in Poland since the Middle Ages when they were served on special occasions such as weddings. The first written evidence of kołacz pies being made in Silesia dates back the early 18th century.

In order to preserve the traditional recipe and highlight the pie’s status as a regional specialty, producers of kołocz ¶l±ski from 11 bakeries and confectioneries in Opole and Silesia provinces formed a consortium several years ago. They agreed on the recipe, production phases and voluntary quality control checks and listed them all in an application to register kołocz ¶l±ski as a product with geographical indication.
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