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Worldwide Gastronomy Habits & Trends

Traveling in time to the Polish fast food reality of the 70s | Paszteciki szczecińskie aka Szczecin patties

ByDominika Margolt

Jan 17, 2023

Szczecin patties (Polish: paszteciki szczecińskie) are a type of fried yeast dough stuffed with meat or vegetable. It is a typical dish for Szczecin, the city located in the north-western Poland, close to the border with Germany. The filling usually consists of pork combined with beef, sauerkraut combined with mushrooms, or cheese combined with mushrooms. During the era of the Polish People’s Republic, replacing the meat stuffing with egg paste was pretty common. The outside cake is fragile and crispy, while the inside has a delicate and soft consistency. Szczecin patties are typically served with heavily seasoned red borscht.

So excellent that it has its own day?

The oldest restaurant that served paszteciki was founded in 1969. A special machine was used for its production brought from the Soviet military surplus in 1971. Pasztecik was put on the List of traditional products, protected by the European Union law. In 2015, it was announced that the 20th of October would be celebrated as Dzień Pasztecika Szczecińskiego (English: the Day of the Szczecin patty).

Time machine to the Polish food reality of the 70s

There are a few places in Szczecin that serve Polish food fast. Some of them have been around for decades, and were actually opened years before anyone would call it “fast food”.  One of them is particularly singular and has been around for nearly 50 years. It’s called Pasztecik and it serves pastries filled with meat, mushrooms or cheese, very much alike to pierogi stuffing.

It is like a time machine moving you into Polish reality of 70-ties or 80-ties! Pasztecik szczeciński was invented in Szczecin based on Russian machine for feeding infantry. It never launched anywhere else worldwide so you should treat it like a regional unique dish unavailable anywhere else.

In front of Pasztecik there is always a long queue, and people hardly every stop to read the menu, since it has not changed in years. The small space is full of students, families, kids stopping on the way from school. They sip on hot beet broth and rush to finish their hot pasties before they move on to the next thing on their daily agenda. What people eat changes every now and then, but the need to eat fast will always be there. However, it is highly recommendable to savor the moment. Even when you eat fast food, it’s more satisfying to enjoy this guilty pleasure slowly.

Recipe for Szczecin patties with sauerkraut and mushrooms

{Paszteciki szczecińskie z kapustą i grzybami}

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 400 g of flour
  • 300 ml warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of instant yeast

Stuffing:

  • 200 g of mushrooms (e.g., baby bella or portobello mushrooms)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 6 allspice berries
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 400 g of sauerkraut

Additionally:

  • 1 egg

Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients to form the dough. Knead it for 3 to 5 minutes until it becomes smooth. Cover it and set aside in a warm spot. Let it rest during the stuffing preparation.

Chop washed mushrooms and sauté in oil with onions until they become beautifully brown. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice berries, and ground pepper.

Subsequently, chop the sauerkraut. Add it to mushroom & onion mixture. Fry it for about 10 minutes until all liquid evaporates. Set aside to let it cool. Having prepared the stuffing, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Divide dough in half and roll out to form a rectangle. Place half of sauerkraut and mushroom filling along the middle of the rolled out dough. Brush edges of the dough with a beaten egg. Fold top half of the rectangle onto filling, and then the bottom onto the dough. Flip stuffed roll upside down, onto the seam. Cut into smaller sections but don’t spread out.

Transfer onto a baking sheet, previously covered with parchment paper. Even though each roll is cut, keep cut pieces close together, along the cuts. It is important to remember so that the filling doesn’t spill out or dry out.

Finally, bake until the top is golden brown, for about 20 minutes .