I visited the ‘best Polish supermarket’ in Leeds and wanted to buy the whole store – Jaimie Kay
Leeds is a diverse city, there are different communities spread across the area, each bringing with it a new culture, history and cuisine.
Most people probably head to Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s or Morrisons for their weekly shop, but naturally they sell out all the groceries we expect. But what if you want to try something a little different?
Well, that’s exactly what I did, I visited the Karparty Food Center on York Road, a Polish supermarket specializing in European food products. Online Google reviewers consider it the best Polish/European Easter shop in town, delighting with fresh bread, meat varieties, friendly staff and more.
It was amazing, although a bit out of the city center, the aisles were filled with delights I had never come across.
Read more: “Tried Leeds chippy which ‘rivals Whitby’ just off Roundhay Park”
For people who don’t know me, I live and breathe food. I always try to learn something new and am constantly fascinated by different cuisines from all over the world.
So if someone tells me, go try this, I will. I took some money and just picked a few items from the shelves that caught my eye and then decided to write about them.
I’ll prefix this by saying that I’m not that educated when it comes to Polish foods. I know the traditional stuff and tried to stick with it because I didn’t want to be completely beside myself (looking at you Pig Hooves).
So here’s what I got and here’s what I think of each article. Spoiler alert, they were all very good – I’m a sucker for meats and cheeses and this was about 70% of the store.
Pierogis are filled dumplings made from unleavened dough. Often filled with a sweet or savory filling such as beef, cheese and herbs or strawberries.
I just grabbed one of the many different varieties and these were really good. They are pre-cooked and just need to be reheated, either in a pan of simmering water, grilled or fried. I fried them in a little olive oil until crisp and hot and they were great.
A good mix of herbs, crispy dough – on a cold day they would be welcome.
Kielbasa is the name for any type of meat sausage from Poland. It is a staple of Polish cuisine and I understand why. This with a little cheese on toast is an absolute dream.
I love cold meats and good cheeses, it’s something a lot of countries do well and we in the UK just don’t. We have cheese but less meat.
The particular kielbasa I had was smoky, a little spicy and had a nice soft texture – I will, it’s similar to chorizo but I don’t want to compare too much as they are different things.
I imagine this fried and put on the dumplings or in a soup would be fabulous.
That probably doesn’t sound so appetizing, does it? Curd cheese? Why? It’s just cheese, all cheeses contain curds so it just says what it is.
The cheese I had was good, it was an interesting texture, sort of a cross between Feta and goat cheese. Spread on some toast, with the fresh tomatoes I had and some salt and chili flakes, it was a great little snack.
I think next time, though, I’d go for one of the stronger cheeses, just to really try something different.
Ketchup Monster Munch (obvious winner let’s face it)
Despite my hilarious joke above, no, they weren’t the best. I had them mainly because one of my absolute guilty pleasures is potato chips.
These are very empty calorie foods, they don’t provide much nutritional value but sue me, I like a good crisp.
Karparty sold a whole aisle of crisps, most of which I had never even heard of. The flavors were so different from what we see here, there was green onion flavor, paprika, tomato ketchup and just garlic crisps. Honestly, if I could have, I would have the whole shelf.
From research I’ve done online, these Turta Dulce de sibiu cookies are actually Romanian, but that’s beside the point, they’re the winners of my food haul.
Even as I write this I’m snacking on one, I’ve eaten about seven, which is just terrible to be honest, but wow. I love gingerbread so these are right up my street.
They are both chewy and crumbly, while having a sweet crust on the outside. They smell amazing, they taste perfect, not too much, not too little, just a perfect little bite.
I’ll have eaten the whole bag before the end of the day, and I’m not sorry.
If you want to try something different, including meats you may never have heard of, I recommend a trip to Kaparty. I would need at least two more visits to really grasp the amount of stuff on offer and I think I could.