I learned a few new words today. Ekleri. Palacinki. Polneti. Piperki. You might be able to guess what they mean.
Ekleri = eclair. Piperki = peppers. Palacinki is bit harder (crepes) and polneti means stuffed which is what I am now that I’ve demolished an ekleri.
My language lesson is courtesy of The Balkan Bakery in Abingdon, Virginia. On Saturday morning. I watched a stream of people arrive for bread and pastries. Maybe they also felt like a change from doughnuts or had a craving for something savoury instead of the almost exclusive sugar rush of the other bakeries round here. There were people speaking Eastern European languages so maybe they were feeling nostalgic. Or maybe it’s the Turkish coffee.
The Balkan Bakery is a family business from Macedonia and when I asked how they ended up in Abingdon, a charming historic town but hardly big enough to be on the radar of most Americans let alone Europeans, the answer was family. Of course. They owned a bakery back home and when they came to Abingdon they started at the farmer’s market. Then they were invited to take a space in an old wooden building at the far end of Main Street. They weren’t sure but that was a few years ago now and now they are an Abingdon institution. Like most bakers they are early risers and such is their reputation that it doesn’t take long for everything to be sold. Then they go home.
It’s one of the joys of travelling to find gems like this and to meet people who love what they do and do it so well.
Categories: An American Adventure