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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » June 29, 2012
Polska… tastes good!
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Quality Food Celebrated
June 29, 2012   
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The annual picnic of the Try Fine Food (Poznaj Dobrą Żywność) program was held May 26 in the gardens of the SGGW University of Life Sciences in Warsaw’s Ursynów district.

Organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for over a decade now, the family picnic has changed a lot in the past several years. From a low-key, trade event for the agri-food industry, it has evolved into Poland’s largest outdoor event centering around quality food.

This year’s picnic was a special one in many respects, not least because of the date. May 26 in Poland is Mother’s Day, a day important to many people regardless of their age. The picnic’s objective was to promote quality and healthy food in the context of how mothers care for their children.

The picnic broke a new turnout record, drawing crowds of visitors from Warsaw and nearby towns with a wide range of exhibitors, entertainment acts and other attractions. The weather was exceptionally good, making sure the event was attended by entire families. Children took part in games and competitions held on the main stage and at exhibitors’ stands. Expert chefs gave cooking demonstrations, and everybody could taste of some of the finest Polish foods.

The master of ceremonies was Roman Czejarek, the host of the Polish state broadcaster’s popular “Summer with the Radio” show, while entertainment was provided by singer Majka Jeżowska and one of Poland’s most popular 1990s’ bands, De Mono.

Almost 100 companies had their stands in the university gardens and the largest group were producers of food marked with the Try Fine Food label under the Try Fine Food program. Coordinated by the minister of agriculture and rural development, the program awards the label to the finest quality products subject to regular checks to guarantee consistent quality and excellent taste.

The second largest group of exhibitors were producers of local and traditional food. Such products carry EU designations to confirm that the food has all the unique features bound with its place of origin or that it has been prepared according to an original, traditional recipe.

This year’s picnic was also the first time for producers of organic food who rely on the most natural farming methods, free from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Although this was the first Try Fine Food picnic for them, a large group of organic food producers attended the event.

Everyone had a good time amid all the delicious and healthy foods. As they tasted produce exhibited at the numerous stands, the more inquisitive visitors could take the opportunity to get answers to questions about recipes, healthy diet tips and regions where the different food products came from. More information and food education could also be obtained at the stands of trade organizations benefiting from funds for the promotion of pork, mutton, milk, poultry meat, horse meat, and fruits and vegetables.

The picnic organizers arranged a special section for kids, called Milky Island, where games and other attractions helped encourage children to drink milk and eat dairy products. There was also a similar section on meat where visitors could learn new facts about the distinctive taste of Polish beef, pork and meat products. In another section, the picnic promoted lamb and horse meat, and those partial to poultry meat could watch a number of cooking demonstrations, learning how to prepare a wide variety of poultry dishes. One of the picnic’s most popular events was a presentation called “Tomato Time: Irresistible Fruits and Vegetables from Poland,” which advised audiences about the benefits of eating Polish fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.

Visitors to the Try Fine Food picnic included a number of public figures, actors, politicians and diplomats. An episode of a public television show entitled Sztuka życia (The Art of Living) and hosted by popular keep-fit instructor Mariola Bojarska-Ferenc was filmed at the picnic.

Radio listeners and television viewers across Poland were able to share in the festivities thanks to live reports on public television channels and the Summer with the Radio public radio show.
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