Here are ten items to try when touring Greenpoint’s Polish Palaces of Meat. (Read Meat Point, Scott Gold’s story on exploring them, right here.) An important note: Kielbasa simply means sausage in Polish, and it technically comes in many variations, several of which we’ve listed below. Still, if you just ask for kielbasa, rest assured what you’re given will taste pretty good. You can also download this list as a printable PDF, too.
Biala: A garlicky, uncooked, unsmoked white kielbasa that must be kept refrigerated until it’s cooked.
Galareta: A cold Polish meat and vegetable-studded aspic, usually served as a starter or snack and often found sold in a plastic cups or foodservice containers.
Golonka: Smoked ham hocks, often seen sitting out on top of the counter and traditionally boiled and served with kraut.
Kabanosy: A thinner, air-dried kielbasa made with caraway seeds that’s usually sold hung in pairs of two and looks a little like long sticks of beef jerky.
Krakowska: A chunky, cold-cut style kielbasa made from lean pork and hot-smoked with pepper and garlic. It’s usually sold with a casing like salami; also like salami it’s served thinly sliced. Both the link and the name come from Kraków.
Lisiecka: A smoked pork kielbasa with a milder, just slightly peppery flavor.
Pasztet: Finely ground meat paste, or Polish pate, often seen made in several variations depending on which animals were used in its production.
Parowki: Polish hot dogs.
Starowiejska: A classic kielbasa flavor profile, closest to the far-less-flavorful version found shrink-wrapped in most supermarkets.
Wiejska: A fat, rustic kielbasa—its name means something like village–made with marjoram and garlic and shaped like a “U.”