Memories of Rose Petal Jam (podcast)

Jun 18th, 2017 | By | Category: Featured Articles, podcast, the show
Rose Petal Jam by Beata Zatorska, Tabula Books 2011

Rose Petal Jam by Beata Zatorska and Simon Target

Outside of¬† major metropolitan areas like Chicago and New York with their thriving Polish American communities, kuchnia polska — Polish cuisine — is relatively unknown, save for perhaps two dishes: pierogi and kielbasa.

But Polish food is so much more than dumplings and sausage.

“The food of my country is seasonal and diverse,” Beata Zatorska explains to me over the phone from her medical office in Sydney, Australia.

Poland is where her love of both cooking and healing was born.

Beata is author of the award-winning memoir and cookbook Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland, released in 2011 by Tabula Books. Her husband, British photographer, Simon Target, supplied the photography for this heartfelt and extraordinarily beautiful book.

The post WWII Poland of Beata’s youth was anything but the oppressive existence often portrayed in historical accounts. It was under communist rule, but for Beata, living amid the mountains, lush meadows and forests of Western Poland with her grandmother (who taught her about wild medicinal herbs), life was relatively carefree with freedom to explore.

Rose Petal Jam is an account of Beata’s first trip back to her homeland after spending ¬†twenty years in Australia as a political refugee. Although her grandmother, who was a chef, was gone by the time of her visit, Beata did find her hand written recipes, which she transcribed for the book.

Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland will leave readers with a new appreciation of a country about which so many of us know so little, and will give cooks a new source of soul satisfying food and drink that will lay the foundation of cherished memories of their own.

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