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Worldwide Gastronomy Habits & Trends

Krówki: Polish gooey milk fudge candy guaranteed to boost your MOOd

ByDaria Malinowska

Jan 3, 2023

Krówki – it is very likely that there is not a single Polish person who avoided tasting them at least once in their lives. Those little fudge pieces have accompanied many since childhood. In this way, they became something of a symbol of this period. One bite can transport you back to those carefree and joyful times. However, the nostalgic feel to them is only a bonus. Krówki are so delicious that all generations have a soft spot for them. However, not everyone knows their story.

How it all started

The history of those sweets is just like their inside – long and stretching for quite a bit. More specifically, it goes back to the 1920s. It was then that Feliks Pomorski opened a confectionery factory in Poznan, becoming in this way the pioneer of krówki.

From the extensive range of products offered by this establishment, the taste of krówki stood out to the consumers most. Nevertheless, Pomorski was not the original author of the recipe – he learned how to make a fudge paste during his stay at his uncle’s in Volhynia.

In December 1939, Pomorski was resettled by the Nazi regime from Poznan to the General Government in Milanowek, where he continued to make the fudge under his own surname. Why did he choose to make these candies in particular? Because they were the easiest ones to make!

Then, communism came. In line with a story told by his family, when Felix learned in the 1950s that his factory had been nationalized, he picked up his cane and left the building. It was a personal tragedy for him.

After that, Felix moved to Spacerowa Street to a small lodge on a plot of land he had once gifted his wife. As he could produce much at a time there, he started cooking the mass in one pot. And people were very eager to buy it! After his death, Leszek Pomorski took over the business.

Why krówki?

In Polish, the name means little cows. At first, it may appear a bit peculiar – toffee and cows?

 Nonetheless, it makes sense when you look at the original packaging of this candy. Each piece was individually wrapped in paper with an image of a Holstein cow printed on it – a symbol of milk, the main ingredient of the fudge paste. The customers used to point to the candy while shopping, saying “I’ll have some of those cows, please.” And this is how the cows inspired the name.

Due to their texture, krówki are also called by some ciągutki (chewies), karmelki (caramels), and mordoklejki (mouthgluers).

International hit

The popularity of this fudgy goodness stretches far beyond the borders of Poland. It is one of the most common Polish confections produced by many companies and sold worldwide.  The unique taste and texture of krówki have been appreciated for quite some time now, among others, in Germany, Belgium, Russia, and even Turkey or Saudi Arabia (yes, they are halal!). In the latter country, these sweets have been one of the most popular imported goods for many a year. Apart from that, both the producers and some Polish public authorities display the milky fudge pieces at fairs or booths to promote the country.

A candy that brings all the bears to the yard

If one funny story is true, then not only humans around the world enjoy consuming those sweets. Allegedly, once 12 tons of krówki went from Milanówek all the way to Canada. Sometime after the shipment was complete, the headquarters requested the same order. It turned out that the Canadians had placed the first container in some sort of hangar. When they opened the warehouse, they couldn’t believe their own eyes.

The back wall was a wreck. Inside sat two bears eating the fudge like there was no tomorrow. Apparently, the animals smelled the candies and broke inside for a small degustation session. What made the fudge so enticing for them?

Sweet dreams are made of this

The base ingredients are sugar (syrup), milk, and butter. Sometimes, some vanilla is added to highlight the milkiness of the mass. They land in a huge vat and cook for a couple of hours (stirred continuously). Subsequently, the mass cools down. When it solidifies, the machines cut it and wrap it in the paper.

Tired of the classic version? You can always flavor the basic fudge using your favorite additives: cocoa powder, poppy seeds, finely grated orange or lemon peels.

On the market, you may find many different varieties: banana, cocoa, coffee, nut, and licorice-flavored krówki. There’s even a version made from soy milk for those who are lactose intolerant!

Crumbly or chewy?

Generally speaking, there are two camps of krówki lovers: those who prefer the inside crumbly and those who like their candy chewy and melted. As always, each will defend their option, but to me, they are good in both versions. I formally refuse to settle this matter. To achieve the desired crumbliness (or its lack), you have to know that consistency is connected with the amount of time that passes from their production. In other words, the longer you wait to eat them, the crumblier they will become.

And what is your favorite way to eat krówki? Have you tried them before? Let us know!

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