Whisky Magazine Issue 37
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Michael Jackson hunts for duck soup - of a sort
Over Sylvester, I had hoped finally to taste Czernina. It was not to be. Next year in Lvov? We are all looking for Lvov, and we all begin a new year with fresh hopes. I have travelled to Warsaw and Cracow; I have visited Poznan and Lublin, but never found Lvov. It's a tricky place to locate, having at different times been in Poland, the Ukraine and The Soviet Union.
As one of the claimants to an historical role in the creation of vodka, Lvov could settle Slavic disputes by proving that this dubious achievement took place in all three of the aforementioned countries.
If this cannot be achieved, I must admit I have a slight preference for Poland.
I have almost always lived in Polish neighbourhoods. They are easily recognisable. It's easy to tell. The grocer is called Grabowski, and New Year is known as Sylvester. Some of my best friends are Poles, though I wish they would put up or shut up regarding Czernina. It is cat soup, made from the blood of felines. Sorry about that blood libel. Czernina is made from the blood of ducks.
Poland, like Scotland, has a cuisine that requires nerves of steel and an asbestos stomach. Healthy? Polish food makes strong men lose their hair. Notice how many young Polish men are prematurely bald. Scottish food makes young men go prematurely grey.
These musings were triggered by a recent guest in my home, a Polish American from Chicago. He brought me a book as a gift. It is a collection of columns by Mike Royko, another Polish American from Chic...