italian easter #2: polish special

The most popular gift to bring from Poland is probably a bottle of good quality vodka. As most people do, I chose Żubrówka. The reasons for bringing this one to Italy were obvious – it’s very good and it looks interesting. Żubrówka is a special kind of herb-flavored vodka. Inside the bottle there’s always a blade of buffalo grass that grows in Puszcza Białowieska – a National Park listed on UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its name comes from żubr (wisent) that can be seen on the label. Few dozens of wisents that live in that forest eat buffalo grass.

The present was very appreciated and I had no idea it would be so much fun drinking it! I had to laugh so much when after opening it Mic asked me whether it actually should be served chilled. Well, sometimes things that are natural to us don’t have to be that obvious for others! After keeping it for some time in the freezer, finally, Żubrówka landed on the table.

The next big surprise for my hosts was the percentage of the drink – like every average vodka it was 40%. I just smiled and explained that vodka generally is much stronger than other alcohols. But the best was yet to come. When we ordered “Bottoms up!” almost everyone started caughing, choking and talking about the penetrating warmth they felt.

The new sensations were so strong and intriguing that the next day some of family members drank few rounds one after another! It was really amusing to see them counting up (uno, due, tre!) and then drinking altogether. The ones who were unconvinced the night before changed their minds and those who tasted it for the first time praised Żubrówka a lot.

The Polish speciality turned up trumps and the intercultural exchange turned out to be
a great succes!


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