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The Bread Festival - Plac Wolnica
Krakow's Kazimierz, just like other parts of Poland, has its very own Bread Festival. The Poles are especially proud of their bread and the baking of bread has had a long tradition in Poland. Bread has a particular resonance in Polish life; it is a symbol of good luck, prosperity and well being, as well as hospitality - visiting guests are often greeted by an offering of bread.
The festival very much reflects the diversity of bread produced in the surrounding Malopolska region - locally produced bread is very much the norm in Poland, there is no such thing as a national brand. If you think of bread solely in terms of white or brown, this festival will certainly change your mind.
The festival is a showcase for the talents of the region's bakers, with a bewildering array of breads on display. You will be able to get bread with plums or pears, bread with herbs or onion, bread with sunflower seeds, sour bread, rye bread and much, much more. In fact, the type of bread you can or cannot get is limited only by the imagination of the bakery.
The festival does not neglect other food producers from the Malopolska region. You will also find other traditional products; jams, sweets, biscuits, fruit juices, meats, honey and the obligatory food stalls selling kielbasa (sausage), bigos (a type of cabbage dish) and oscypek (a smoked cheese made from sheep's milk from the Podhale region of Poland).
If you are not too sure about how all of this might all taste you need not worry, most exhibitors give visitors the opportunity to sample their produce free of charge. The festival also features music from the Malopolska region, such as folk groups or choirs.
The festival is usually held in June and is another reason to come to Kazimierz during the summer months. If you miss it, why not visit a local bakery and sample a piece of Malopolska's heritage for yourself?