Poznań’s sweetest symbol
Rogal Świętomarciński (St Martin’s Croissant) is one of the most recognizable and undoubtedly tastiest symbols of Poznań. During the upcoming Independence Day celebrations on November 11th, combined with the names-day of Święty Marcin Street (St. Martin’s), nearly a million of the crescent-shaped, poppy-seed filled pastries will be eaten. Their unique taste is beyond words, but we can tell you all about their fascinating history, which is longer than you’d expect, their bold presence in cyberspace and, last but not least, about their true uniqueness as well as the need for the protection of their traditional production process.
The Rogal is older than it seems
The Rogal in cyberspace
Although today the rogal is available for purchase all year round, the height of the sweet season falls on November 11th. According to tradition, it is then that these pastries taste best, and are sold in largest amounts. During the St Martin’s celebration - the names-day of Poznań’s most famous street, Święty Marcin, named after the Roman legionary - Poznań’s bakeries and pastry shops sell as much as a few hundred tonnes of this delicacy.
For a good few years now, the Rogal Świętomarciński is also available for online orders and purchase. Poznań natives can send parcels with the sweet contents to their friends abroad, or enjoy the taste of a rogal themselves, if they are away from home and feel a twinge of nostalgia. What is interesting, is that other parts of Poland have tried to pirate the typical Poznań delicacy and have come up with counterfeits and imitations. Which is why...
The Rogal under special protection
This is why the origin of Rogal Świętomarciński is so vital. The tastiest crescent-shaped pastries are of course only the authentic ones, which come exclusively from Poznań and the Wielkopolska region. Their uniqueness has been officially recognized and in 2008 Rogal Świętomarciński has become a regional product under the protection of the European Union. The Poznań Pastry Chefs and Bakers Guild carries out a yearly quality certification of rogal and only those which fulfill these strict requirements are worthy of carrying the Rogal Świętomarciński name. In 2012 this right, and honourable privilege, went to 98 bakeries and pastry shops all over the Wielkopolska region.
How to prepare a proper Rogal Świętomarciński? See for yourself!
Wojciech Mania i Jarosław Redliński
translated by Kaja Kurczewska
photo Grzegorz Babicz