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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Krakow: Crepes - Nalesniki Francuskie

Dearest sweethearts,

Isn't it a fabulous time to have something sweet? It's always a good time to enjoy some sweet treat. I, myself, am not a huge fan of sweets but pancakes are always a great idea, don't you think?! Of course the French people call them "crepes", and it does sound a bit more fancy... anyway, the French love their pastries and sweets so it's normal that pancakes/crepes are in their culinary delights menu. 
The pancakes of the past were not like the crepes of modern times, of nowdays, consisting of flour, eggs and milk. The version of today appeared for the first time in ancient Rome. In medieval Europe, crepes/pancakes became popular on Shrove Tuesday - that's the day before the Christian Lenten season begins. Why, you may ask! Well... fasting for Easter was in order but everyone had plenty of eggs and fats in their house, that they needed to get rid of, else they would expire. Hence the actual version of the pancakes came to life. 
Different countries have different versions and names for crepes. For example, the Italians call them crespelle, the Jewish people have blitzed, the Russians have blinis, the Greeks have kreps, the Romanian people call them clatite. Clatite - present in the life of every Romanian child, as a sweet treat. I, for one, love them with sour cherry jam or the ones with cheese and raisins and sour cream, done in the oven. They are fingerlicking amazing!
Due to the fact that crepes come in both a sweet version but they can also be a main meal, it's an easy treat to cook and everyone will like it. You can have a variety of fillings and make everyone happy with building up their own "formula". I, for one, like the most the versions with fruits or a combination of fruits and soft creamy cheese. With a proper pancake/crepe you can handle even a full day without eating ;) so never underestimate the power of a proper pancake!
Krakow is famous for its fast food good truck experiences. Kazimierz is the "go to" place where you can find all that your heart desires. Including pancakes ;) For example, just next to Galeria Kazimierz, in front of its entrance, there is a truck of "Kocham Nalesniki". It's the best place I could find in town, up to this moment, that does sweet pancakes with cheese and fruits. The ones that remind me of my childhood and make me smile wide while munching on them, hoping that they would never end.
The "Kocham Nalesniki" idea is really well welcomed and if you look on their Facebook page you can see that the votes that people gave them raise to 4.9 out of 5 stars. Everyone is happy on the taste, the look, the of minus - from time to time - comes from the people who serve, but I never once had an issue. The ladies serving me were always very nice and encouraging - my broken Polish always shows I'm not from around. I also give the team the benefit of the doubt, as all the ones who serve at students and they do switch a lot, around the year. Training them on customer care is not the primary focus. 
I always loved food trucks as you can see your food and how they prepare it. I always found it fascinating to watch how people do crepes on the huge frying pan - the continuous circular fast movement and the way the flip it without dropping it to the ground... that takes practice and skill! The "Kocham Nalesniki" team has a couple of trucks in stable positions in Kazimerz but also has a black sleek van that corporations can use during their picnic time in the summertime. Marek's former employer had one at their party and the queue was endless - needless to say that people are willing to stay in the rain, for over an hour an a half, to get their treat! 

You can pay both by credit card and cash and I think you can even order them out online - never tried that though... I tried the Nutella one and I must say it's quite a caloric bomb! I could not manage to eat even half of it - it was very sweet, very much to Marek's taste but not mine. I prefer the one with cottage cheese and some kind of seasonal fruits - 1st place goes to peaches and 2nd to strawberry, banana ones are good as well but much too filling for my taste. I admired the team also for their choice of packaging, which is very helpful while eating it on the go - and not having a knife and fork or spoon at hand. The package unwraps itself bit by bit, allowing you to eat the delicious treat at your own fine pace, without getting dirty. Dotted lines will help you tear it up ;) 
Peaches and soft creamy cheese - mmm... yummy!
The prices:
- espresso - 4 zloty
- Americano - 4,5 zloty
- Lungo  - 5 zloty
- Cappucino - 6 zloty
- Latte - 6,5 zloty
- Pancakes/Crepes prices can range from 6,5 to 15 zloty but they are totally worth your time and money! Highly recommended! 

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red Ladybug That Loves Pancakes