Have you ever walked into a shop on Edgeware Rd or Chinatown in London and felt transported to another place? I love nothing more than walking into a deli or grocer and being immersed in the delights of another culture. Since moving to Maidenhead I found this experience a little more difficult to come by, but I’ve since found some hidden treasures like the Continental Stores on Denmark St and Gordon Store on Gordon St and most recently I discovered the Polish deli on Market St right in the heard of Maidenhead.
I’d known the Pierozek Polish Delicatessen had been there for some time but never ventured in until last week as I was walking to Sainsbury’s. I’m so glad I went in because while it might look typical from the outside, inside it’s an Aladdin’s cave of Polish enchantments. If you ever want to know what it’s like to walk into a grocery store in a European town, then this is your ticket. It reminded me so much of the supermarkets that have sprung up on Korcula, Croatia where we usually spend the summer. Brightly-lit, with wide aisles containing all the colours of Euro-packaging. You’ll find classic continental brands like Knorr and Vegeta and products that feature heavily in Polish cuisine like pickles, beetroot, noodles and more specialised items like certain flours, bread crumbs and cured meats.
I came away with a bag full of my favourite European crisp brands with flavourings like peanut and paprika, some slices of bologna, cheese-filled kilbasa sausage and some baked goods that tempted me at the front counter. There is a very decent fresh and cured meat counter in the back of store where you’ll also find some Polish specialty bread and a fresh vegetable display as you walk in on the left that has some culinary specials like pickling cucumbers. The jewel in the crown, especially for the sweet-tooth, is the cake counter right near the till. There are slabs of cheesecake, sweet breads, cream cakes and filled donuts and they all look so crazily good. I had to settle for only two items on this particular trip, but I can assure you I will be back to try more.
This deli is not only for those looking for a taste of home, it’s for everyone who loves food. Make the effort to step inside this shop and you’ll be tempted to find out more about Polish cuisine and ingredients and you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to shop in other places of the world. Try something different like a jar of pickles that Poland is famous for or one of their loaves of rye bread, or treat yourself to a cake that you won’t find in Gregg’s or the M&S bakery counter.