Welcome to the Polish Pastry Experience—a behind-the-counter look into the traditional pastries that you can find in Greenpoint’s Polish bakeries.
How do you know what’s best? Should you try something new?
Every Wednesday, we ask the bakers themselves to tell you.
This week, Jasłowiczanka Bakery recommends…their Sernik.
$9 per slice (enough for 3 servings).
Serniki (pl.) are types of cheesecake. They are very popular in Poland, and come in many different varieties. Traditionally, ingredients include a base of twaróg (a white, soft cheese), butter, sugar, and eggs—the rest depends on the type of sernik and the chef!
As a dessert, cheesecake dates back to ancient Greece, first mentioned by the philosopher Aegimus in a cookbook. Later, they reappear in ancient Rome in the De Re Rustica by Cato the Elder, in a recipe for libium, a type of cheesecake used in religious rituals. As the ancient Romans expanded their empire into Europe, the cheesecake came with them. A recipe for cheesecake was first printed in 1545 and was eaten by the court of King Henry VIII.
But how did the sernik get to Poland? Some say it was King John III Sobieski who brought the cheesecake back with him after the Battle of Vienna (1683). This “Vienna-style” cheesecake was then modified into a “Krakow-style” sernik, which soon spread throughout Poland and developed into regional varieties, many of which are enjoyed by Polish people today.
Jasłowiczanka Bakery is located at 163 Nassau Avenue at Diamond Street.