When in Rome, do as the Romans do; and when in Warsaw, fans are being encouraged to eat local with UEFA EURO 2012 coinciding with a campaign to promote the Polish breakfast.
Over the last few months, a jury of local food experts have been piecing together a perfect breakfast menu, comprising ingredients of Polish origin as a means of promoting local dishes. Key elements are cottage cheese with fresh vegetables (especially radish, chives and parsley), with yoghurt, salt and pepper, served with bread; scrambled eggs with chives; warm rolls with butter and thick apple sauce or honey; Polish ham and liver sausage and soft-boiled eggs. Bars and restaurants serving traditional Polish breakfasts have a special logo to entice foreign supporters.
The campaign has been a success, with plenty of fans interested in sampling the local specialities. "Customers ask about practically every item on the menu," Krzysztof, owner of the Cooker restaurant in Warsaw, told UEFA.com. "For breakfast they usually order the scrambled eggs or sausages. During the day the orders vary. Pierogi dumplings are very popular, as well as herring, żurek (a sour cream soup with egg and white sausage), goulash soup and pork chop served with potatoes and young cabbage."
"Fans are enjoying Polish smoked meats and sausages, both traditional and dry," added Dominik from the Regional Specialties restaurant. "They are also happily trying Polish regional cheese, especially sheep cheese from the Tatra Mountains known as oscypek. Pork neck and tomato soup are best-sellers too. We have already had visitors from a lot of different countries, and most of them have loved Polish food. As far I could see, perhaps only the French visitors did not really get the hang of our national dishes."
Andrzej from Polish Delicacy said: "From what you can see out on the tables, the meat dishes that have been a real success have been Polish-style roast duck, pork tenderloin or leg of lamb. Football fans from all over the world have also tasted homemade lard with pickled cucumber and bread, sauerkraut stew with mushrooms and sausage, Silesian dumplings, potato pancakes and beetroot soup."
Tyler from Dublin, who has stayed in the Polish capital to soak up the atmosphere following the Republic of Ireland's departure, has been impressed by the food on offer. "We are pleased we have had the chance to meet Polish people, but also to try Polish cuisine, because you really have something to be proud of over here," he said. "You can be sure we will be talking up Poland and Polish food when we get back home."
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