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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » December 21, 2012
Polska… tastes good!
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Bread: A Star Polish Export
December 21, 2012   
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Poland is exporting growing amounts of bread. Last year exports of baked goods (bread, cakes, biscuits) were worth close to 520 million euros.

The perception of bread in Poland is that of a natural component of the daily menu, something widely available and accepted. Studies show that over 96 percent of households buy bread. This is more than any other product, giving bread unquestioned first place among the many types of food bought by consumers.

Polish bread is unique. Its strength is the distinctive flavor that is hard to find in baked goods made in other countries. It has a good crumb, the right degree of crispness and a pleasant aroma. The commitment and creativity of bakers results in a huge diversity of bread that is available: bread loaves, round rolls, crescent rolls, baguettes, challahs. There is bread big and small, white and dark, wheat, rye, mixed, made from rare grains like spelt and amaranth, plain and luxury, sweet, with added seeds, fruit, honey, sprinkled with different things. There are also regional baked goods like obwarzanki and korowaje as well as those baked for special occasions such as harvest festivals and weddings.

Thanks to the bakery sector’s centuries-old tradition it has been possible to improve and pass on recipes from generation to generation. Some bakers use recipes more than 300 years old. The best ones are based on sourdough. Poland is also one of a few countries where bread is still baked with rye flour, which is much more nutritious than wheat flour, not to mention the difference in flavor. A blend of tradition and well-tested technology enables Polish bakers to offer a range of several hundred varieties of bread that does not leave even picky gourmets indifferent. No wonder that Polish bread is greatly appreciated both at home and abroad.

Just a few years ago nobody in Poland had heard of exporting bread or rolls. Today more bakeries are looking for ways of encouraging customers to buy their products and if this fails, they turn to exports of frozen bread. Polish bread exported to other countries is hugely successful there. The opening of the borders enabled Polish bakers looking for new markets to start—at first tentatively—taking their bread to borderland areas in Germany and the Czech Republic; when demand grew, they began opening stores and going deeper inside the borders.

Today the greatest amount of Polish bread is sent wherever large groups of recent Polish emigrants are found: britain, Ireland, Germany and even Spain. It seems these products will find a permanent place there because they are gaining appreciation among the locals as well.

Polish bread is conquering international markets. Among other factors, its sucacess is the result of efforts to preserve traditional recipes. Reaching for traditional Polish bread, preferably one baked from wholemeal flour and based on natural sourdough, with the addition of sunflower seeds, for example, consumers can be certain that this product is exceptionally tasty and healthy, on the one hand, and that it meets top quality standards, on the other.
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