Birthday gift for dude who studies Poland & Eastern Europe
February 28, 2014 1:27 PM   Subscribe

My guy is turning 24 this Thursday, so I am casting around for a birthday gift. He studies Poland and Eastern Europe. He lived in Poland for a couple years while working as a journalist, and he remains fascinated by Polish culture and history. I was thinking that I could get him some Polish "comfort" items--specialty snacks, etc. Any ideas, AskMeFites?
posted by Triscuitier to Shopping (7 answers total)
Salo, especially chocolate covered, is the first thing I think of, remembering my Polish roommate in college -- I never did find out if she was serious or just pulling my leg, though.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:41 PM on February 28, 2014

Polish Crystal (vase, shot glass, artwork)

Go to a Polish Catholic Church bake sale and get REAL home-made pierogies. Trust me.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:54 PM on February 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Heh, I've never heard of Salo, and grew up in quite a Polish household.

I would wander into a Polish deli and just grab a bunch of little candies - Polish candy is a thing. Here's a quick reference on Polish treats - if you see those, you know you're in the right deli:

The little yellow candies with a cow on them are amazing - we would bring back kilos of different candies every time we visited. My usual care package I'd get from cousins/grandparents was a kilo of the cows, 2 or 3 boxes of Ptasie Mleczko, some Sliwki, Kukulki, Prince Polo, and bags of Pierniki. (...Seriously, there should be more fat people in Poland.)

Does he know how to cook? If so, there's some nice things like dried mushrooms that you could pick up for him that could go into some really home-y foods. If you want to stink up the house, you could try your hand at making Bigos, unless you know he doesn't like sauerkraut.
posted by aggyface at 1:55 PM on February 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

These chocolate-covered prunes are my personal favorite, and whenever I mention them to a Polish friend or someone who's spent time there I get a good, sentimental reaction.
posted by figgy_finicky at 2:00 PM on February 28, 2014

sweets, dried mushrooms, cured meat, vodka, flowers.

aggyface ain't joking about sweets. I jokingly tell my wife her mother serves desserts in courses.

Anywhoo - the real answer since you appear to be in Brooklyn? Is to head to Greenpoint and do some shopping.
posted by JPD at 2:02 PM on February 28, 2014

Ptasie mleczko, especially the lemon flavor, are my favorite Polish candy.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:32 PM on February 28, 2014

What about alcohol? Polish beer is delicious. And I had a Polish friend who encouraged me to drink hot krupnik when sick -- I think it has homey associations.

You're in Brooklyn? Hie thee to a Polish vendor of pierogies.
posted by a fair but frozen maid at 3:54 PM on February 28, 2014

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