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Port of Call: Enjoying the Culture of Gdansk, Poland

Port of Call: Enjoying the Culture of Gdansk, Poland

Apr. 16th, 2024

Each month, residents living in participating affiliated communities will have the opportunity to enjoy the Port of Call Program. The Port of Call program is a Life Enrichment initiative where the residents will enjoy the culture of a city or country through food, games, and activities.

April’s theme is Gdansk, Poland! Let’s take a look at Gdansk and why this city has had such a profound impact on the world.

About Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk is a city located in northern Poland, and is known as a seaport and shipbuilding center. There are 458,053 residents currently living in Gdansk, and this city is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country of Poland.1

Fun Activities to Do in Gdansk, Poland

There are so many fun places to explore in Gdansk, Poland! Here are a few fun activities that the city has to offer.

  • The long market: Gdansk boasts a beautiful market strip filled with shops and restaurants. The market started in the 13th century as a merchant road. With so many shops and gorgeous architecture to see, the long market has something for everyone to do.2
  • The universities. Gdansk has 6 public universities as well as 9 private ones. These campuses are rich in history and culture. It is estimated that 80,000 people in Gdansk are students, making these campuses a great place to meet people!3
  • Neptune Fountain. The Neptune Fountain is one of the most notable landmarks in Gdansk. Located in the old city, this is a popular attraction for people to come see and take pictures in front of!
  • Beaches. Gdansk boasts so many beautiful beaches for you to relax and enjoy! One of these beaches includes Stogi Beach, which is a family friendly beach that will give you a beautiful glimpse of the Bay of Gdańsk. There is also the Jelikowo, a beach that allows your family to rent water equipment.4
  • Mary’s Basicilia. This is a beautiful Gothic church that is one of the largest brick churches in the world. This church has a history of hosting both Catholic and Lutheran services, making it a religious destination important to many Christian Poles. Inside the church, there are several paintings from famous artists during the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque eras.

With so much variety, there is something Poland has to offer for everyone. From delicious cuisine to fun nights on the beach, Poland is a place where people can come and enjoy the culture.

Food in Poland

Polish cuisine has a rich history, with influence over the years from its agriculture, the connections to other countries, ethnic groups, and historical developments. Many traditional dishes from the Middle Ages used beef, cold-water fish, grains, and cereals for the recipes. Porridge, soups, and breads were all popular to make during this time period.5

The Catholic religion has played a profound cultural impact on Polish food due to the meat fasts. Many dishes were created without meat in order to help the people adhere to their religious traditions.6

Today, Poles love making recipes with game meat, chicken, and pork for their proteins. They also love to incorporate a plethora of vegetables, spices, herbs, and mushrooms into their dishes.7

Poland’s agriculture allows for a wide variety of fruits and veggies to be grown and animals to be raised. Some important foods grown in Poland include carrots, mushrooms, beets, cabbage, potatoes, and cucumbers. Rye, wheat, and buckwheat are a few important staples grown on Polish farms, since these items can be used for noodles, dumplings, and other everyday foods.6

Common dishes in Poland

Here are a few foods that the Poles enjoy!

  • Rosół: This is a traditional chicken soup based primarily on meat broth. The Poles commonly serve this dish with capellini, a type of pasta.8
  • Pierogis: Many Poles enjoy pierogis made with potatoes, cheese, and other local ingredients.
  • Pomidorowa: Pomidorowa is a Polish tomato soup often eaten with noodles.

Port of Call Menu

The dietary teams at the participating facilities prepare a Port of Call meal to go along with the theme! This month, they will be serving food inspired by Poland. Note that the menu and food offerings are subject to change. These recipes are written to accommodate a full facility size, but you can reduce the quantities to make for your family!

Polish beet salad with blueberries

  • 3 ea beet diced canned drained #10 can
  • 5 cups sour cream
  • 10 cups blueberries iqf
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper black ground
  • 5 tbsp sugar granulated
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cups red diced onion


  1. Combine all of the ingredients together. Refrigerate.

Polish pork goulash with buttered noodles almond green beans

  • 10 lbs pork stew cut meat
  • 3 cups carrot diced
  • 3 cups celery diced
  • 3 cups onion diced
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 16 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup flour all purpose
  • 2 ea bay leave
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper black ground
  • 1 cups parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 pack pork gravy powder


  1. Sautee the pork stew, carrots, onion, and celery in butter until they are translucent. Add bay leaves and seasoning. Add flour, red wine vinegar, and then broth.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes until meat is tender. Add pork gravy powder, then sour cream. Keep simmering for a few minutes then parsley and fish out the bay leaves.
  3. Cook noodles in very salted water for 7 minutes, drain then toss in softened butter. Add salt, black pepper, and dried parsley.

Green Beans Almondine

  • 15 lbs green beans iqf
  • 2 cups butter melted
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper black ground
  • 2 cups parsley chopped
  • 5 tbsp garlic chopped
  • 4 cups almond sliced toasted
  • 4 tbsp lemon zest


  1. Blanch the frozen green beans in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes. Transfer them into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add all ingredients and toss well.

Kolaczki Cookies with Fruit Jam

  • 50 EA Sugar cookies
  • 6 cups soft cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups apricot jam


  1. Lay the cookie dough over parchment paper on a sheet pan 5 across and 7 down.
  2. Combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice, then whisk well. Transfer into a pastry bag.
  3. Bake the cookies in a 350f oven for 5 minutes, then take out and pipe on cream cheese mix over about 1 tbsp. Then put back in the oven for another 3 minutes. Take out and cool down then portion 1 tbsp of apricot jam over cream cheese mix. Let it cool.

Port of Call Activities

Each month, the affiliated Life Enrichment departments at the participating communities will plan fun games and activities on the country or city for our port! Check out these Port of Call activities some of the departments are planning. Please note that these lists are not final and activities are subject to change.

Falls Run

Falls Run plans on listening to Chopin’s music while doing crafts and eating the Port of Call meal. The Life Enrichment team plans on making crafts with jewelry and amber, as well as painting a life sized castle. They also are putting on a dragon scavenger hunt. A party with Polish treats is also planned for the residents.

Kittaning Health and Rehab

Kittanning is planning activities around The Drowning of Marzanna, which is a festival that celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

Autumn Care of Biscoe

The Life Enrichment team at Autumn Care of Biscoe is planning a Polish pickle tasting social!

Autumn Care of Fayetteville

Autumn Care of Fayetteville is planning an activity where the residents will build a castle. They will also listen to traditional music and enjoy traditional Polish food. The poppy is also the national flower of Poland, so the residents will create poppy flowers to give to Veterans in the community.

Gabriel Manor

Gabriel Manor plans to serve Polish potato pancakes!

Saber Healthcare

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Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.