Time was when you had to travel to the USA to get Reece’s sweet peanut butter cups, Poland to find Polish curd cheese or Ireland to buy Tayto crisps but today in Salford our local supermarkets all have a ‘World Food’ aisle or two and you can buy these delicacies, as well as large bags of red lentils and basmati rice and goodies from Spain, Caribbean islands and other Asian countries. Much as I love trying the local food when we travel I also love being able to get some of my favourites when I am at home and I am truly grateful to all those people who have been prepared to leave their own country and move to the UK and created the demand for food from other countries.
In the 2011 census 1.6% of the Salford population spoke Polish. These people and those from other countries add new and interesting flavours to our city and different outlooks. Of course, since the Brexit vote, many of these people are feeling insecure and even friends who moved here decades ago are concerned about their ability to stay.
But for now I am able to enjoy shopping in our local Polish shop. I walk in and I am always greeted with ‘dzien dobry’ and I like to confuse the staff by replying in Polish, although in truth that and thank you [Dziękuję] is pretty much the extent of my Polish. We visited Poland in 2007 in our campervan and at the time I could manage some of the language needed to book us in to a campsite but most of this has been forgotten in the haze of other languages.
I love that many of the items the shop sells are a mystery to me; I might as well be in one of the gloomy small grocery shops we found in Poland. Mostly I just buy the delicious rye bread, although I sometimes return with other delicacies such as paprika crisps and cream cheese with chives. I drool over the large jars of gherkins but know that with Mr BOTRA having no interest in pickled vegetables I would struggle to get through so many.