decent cafe in the old town centre of gdańsk. the word cukiernia refers to – I think – pastry shops and confectionaries, so try to pop into one of these while you’re in poland – they are traditional cafes as you get in europe, with rows of bread behind the counter, and cakes laid out in glass counters and biscuits sold by weight. they are a large draw for travelling in europe – for me at least.
we happened across this cafe and came here for breakfast – and I imagine it must get very crowded in summer as even on an off-peak period (April), the cafe was rather crowded. as an avid baker and owner of a sweet tooth, nothing gets me more excited than trying pastries and cakes in new countries. this is rather my version of sightseeing.
we bought three types of bread here, as well as a slice of cheesecake and cups of coffee and tea. the first was a bread glazed over with icing and filled with a poppy-seed filling. the filling also tasted like there were almonds (or extract in it) and I really liked this though it was a tad sweet. as you can see, the filling was swirled in and around the entire pastry, almost like a croissant. I think it might be called makowiec (please correct me if I’m wrong).
we also had a pizza-tasting bread that was essentially a plain enriched bread roll topped with a very savoury coating of perhaps tomato and cheese. this reminds me of the bread we get in asia, where almost all the doughs are enriched and mildly sweet.
the last of our buns was described to us as a cheese bun, but what it really was was an enriched bun filled with custard and topped with some mild cheese. pleasant, but perhaps my least favourite of the lot as it wasn’t that special.
we finished with a slice of cheesecake since we saw that almost every table had ordered one. sernik, as cheesecake is known in poland, is different from the usual western ones as it is crumbly and a lot dryer and less dense than what we are used to – I prefer the dense ones myself though this was very tasty. I think it must be a result of them using a different sort of cheese.
in any case, regardless of which cukiernia you visit, just be sure to head into one! there’s nothing better than some coffee and cake to tide the day away.