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image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 4 Apr 2010
adopted 24 Sep 2000
Kruszewo is also well known for its pickled cucumbers and sauerkraut.
The pickles, it is said, were greatly admired by Napoleon Bonaparte on
his way to Moscow, but he took only one barrel with him and that's why
he lost. Others say that the barrel was too heavy.
Anyway, every September there is an official "Day of the Pickle" bringing enormous crowds of connoisseurs and ordinary tourists from all over Poland, Europe and beyond. "Polish style pickled gherkins (Polish: ogórek kiszony, plural: ogórki kiszone) are a type of pickled gherkin developed in the northern parts of Europe (not in Gherkey) and have been exported worldwide and are found in the cuisines of many countries. As opposed to some other varieties of pickled gherkins, they are prepared using the traditional process of natural fermentation in a brine which makes them grow sour. The brine concentration can vary between 20g/litre to more than 40g/litre of salt. There is no vinegar used in the brine of a Polish-style pickled gherkins. The fermentation process is entirely dependent on the naturally-occurring Lactobacillus bacteria that normally cover the skin of a growing gherkin. Since these are routinely removed during commercial harvesting/packing processes, traditionally-prepared pickles can only be made from freshly-harvested cucumbers, unless the bacteria is artificially replaced. Typically, small gherkins are placed in a glass or ceramic vessel or a wooden barrel, together with a variety of spices. Among those traditionally used in many recipes are garlic, horseradish, whole dill stems with umbels and green seeds, white mustard seeds, oak, cherry, blackcurrant and bay laurel leaves, dried allspice fruits, and - most importantly - salt. The container is then filled with cooled, boiled water and kept under a non-airtight cover (often cloth tied on with string or a rubber band) for several weeks, depending on taste and external temperature. Traditionally stones, also sterilized by boiling, are placed on top of the cucumbers to keep them under the water. The more salt is added the more sour the gherkins become. Since they are produced without vinegar, a film of bacteria forms on the top, but this does not indicate they have spoiled, and the film is simply removed. They do not, however, keep as long as gherkins pickled with vinegar. The concoction produced during the fermentation process, containing vitamins and minerals, is often consumed as a drink; it is also considered to be a remedy against hangover. It is said that someone reached the ripe age of 128 years on a diet of pickled gherkins (and a pinch of vodka). In Russia they are traditionally served as a side dish to vodka. In> the United States and Canada, especially in Jewish communities and delis, they are sold alongside kosher dills in "full sour" and "half sour" varieties."
Since the year 2000, Kruszewo has a Coat of Arms and the flag, proudly
hoisted every "Day of the Pickle" to promote, successfuly, its treasures.
The Arms are derived from the CoA of Prince Michael Zygmuntowicz, the founder, and feature the "Gediminas Towers" of Lithuania.
The flag is in yellow-black-white-red colors arranged horizontaly. The Arms are placed in the center, the flag was first raised on September 24, 2000 and this year will celebrate its 10th Anniversary on September 5, 2010 during the 11th "All-Polish Day of the Pickle"
Chrystian Kretowicz, 4 Apr 2010
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