Pirogues and sorrel soup

Today I stopped in to Monika’s Polish Meat & Deli, located amidst the busy Jackson Heights shopping district at 80-10 37th Avenue, to buy some pirogues ($3.59/12). I didn’t mess around with anything frou frou or chi chi – that’s not what pirogues are about.  I got potato cheddar.

I also picked up something I’ve never tried before – sorrel soup, or zupa szczawiowa ($3.99).  This is a classic Eastern European dish sometimes called shavel or green borscht, made with the leaves of sorrel, a hearty herb. The sorrel soup at Monika’s is hand-made on site and has a simple list of ingredients including chicken broth, sorrel, eggs, carrots, celer, parsley, sour cream, flour and spices. The eggs are hard boiled and come to you whole in the liquid. Apparently spring is the best time of year to pick and cook with sorrel, but today the slightly smokey flavor was intriguing to experience now that the temperature outside has dropped and fall is on it’s way.

The story of Monika’s Polish Meat & Deli is so wonderfully American because it’s run by a woman of Dominican heritage, Digma Guzman, who saw a great business opportunity when the previous owner decided to sell.  She was ready to change gears and try another line of retail business if the Polish merchandise ceased to sell, but the local clientele was so loyal, there was no need.

The shop is small and clean and filled with Polish and general Eastern European meats, cheeses, cookies and condiments. GMP It’s no-nonsense and easy and straight to the point.

Happy hunting . . . Anne

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