Pickles, Mustard and Pierogi

I am not sure the Polish food store beside Polonia actually has a name. The sign just says "Kielbasa, Golabki, Pierogi." The store is justly famous for its fabulous jelly-filled paczki doughnuts and outrageous kabonosy and kielbasa. (They fly in 600 pounds of sausage from Chicago each week.) But I am usually in such a hurry to get my doughnuts and sausage out to the parking lot that I ignore the rest of the store. Last week my housemate demanded a full tour, and we ended up at the cash register with a big pile of items that we couldn't live without.

She is a mushroom freak and spent a long time browsing the pickled mushroom aisle. We got a bottle of premium pickled boletus mushrooms that I now enjoy eating with bacon and eggs for breakfast. Speaking of bacon, there are some awesome slice-it-yourself slabs in the meat case. This store also has the largest selection of pickles I have ever seen. There are fermented (Kosher-style) pickles in jars with little doilies over the lids, dill pickles, garlic pickles, vinegar pickles, petite pickles and lots of Polish "kornichons." The mustard section is small, but well-stocked with unusual brands.

I stood in awe before the frozen pierogi. There were two entire glass freezer cases full of the stuff. I grew up eating these little Eastern European raviolis, but I had never seen half of these varieties. There was meat, beef-and-pork, mushroom, kraut, kraut-and-mushroom, spinach, and cabbage. There were also strawberry and cherry-filled dessert pierogi. (Who knew?) I settled for a package of the potato-and-cheese-filled variety. (That's the kind that Grandma made.) But I vowed to return and try some of the others. I think I also need to try some of the frozen pierogi sauces.

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