Exploration of the culinary culture from Stanisław Lem’s literature.
Foodlemology is an Instagram account showcasing food recipes from the literature of the world-famous Polish writer, author of “Solaris”.
The project is designed as a visual and culinary trip into the world of writer's imagination.
FoodLEMology was commissioned by The Polish Institute Tel Aviv and launched in June 2021.
"Peace on Earth," 1984
2 liters of meat (chicken or veal) or vegetable stock, 1 large onion, 1 carrot, 3 beets with leaves, 2 potatoes, 1 bay leaf, 4 allspice, 1 tbsp sunflower oil, 2 tbsp of tomato paste, 1 glass of white beans (soaked overnight and boiled) ,1/4 white cabbage, 2 tbsp of apple vinegar, ground black pepper and salt, parsley chopped.
Soak white beans overnight. Drain and change the water; cook the beans for about 1.5 hours until soft but not mushy. Prepare the broth. Cut the onion into small cubes, beets in half-moons, slice carrots and garlic. Cut the beet leaves and stalks. Heat the sunflower oil in a wide pot and add the vegetables as follows - onion and garlic, carrots and beetroots, leaves and stalks. Add bay leaves, allspice, black pepper, and salt. Fry all the vegetables for 15 minutes. Add tomato paste and fry for the next 5 minutes. Add potatoes cut into small cubes and white beans. Add the broth with cabbage and cook for a maximum of 20 minutes until all the vegetables are soft enough. Add vinegar, season with more salt and black pepper. Mix well. Serve with parsley and a spoon of sour cream.
“Korzenie. Drrama wieloaktowe”, 1948
1 banana, half apple, freshly squeezed orange juice, 4 fresh spinach leaves or 1 kale leaf,
1 tsp of spirulina, 1 kiwi, 1 tbsp of agave syrup, 1 shot of Tequila (if you’re feeling extra adventurous), half a spoon of pink peppercorns
Mix all the fruits and leaves in the blender. Pour into a glass and serve with pink peppercorns, partly crushed. If going for an adventure - add a shot of Tequila and crushed ice cubes Salut Eartians!
Asparagus with Nutmeg and Polenta
"Peace on Earth," 1984
Polenta: 3 1/2 cups water, 1/2 tbsp salt, 3/4 cups coarse-grained yellow cornmeal Asparagus: 6 pieces of green asparagus, 3 tbsp butter, 1 tsp nutmeg, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp smoked pepper, 1 pinch of salt, 10 gr parmesan
Prepare your polenta a day before. Cut each asparagus into 4 cm pieces. Melt the butter on a skillet, add nutmeg, smoked pepper, salt, and bay leaves. Add asparagus and fry on low heat for 10 minutes, turning from time to time until lightly browned. Take out asparagus and put it aside. Cut polenta into 4 equal squares or rectangles. Fry on the butter and spices mixture on both sides until lightly browned. Place 1 piece of polenta on the plate, cover with 3 thin layers of parmesan. Then, place another piece of polenta on top of it. Cover with some more parmesan. Decorate with 3 pieces of asparagus. Place the rest of the asparagus on the plate. Pour some of the remaining butter & spices mixture on the dish. Sprinkle some smoked pepper and salt if needed.
Inspired by Stanisław Lem's personal taste
For the dough: 340 grams all-purpose flour, plus more as needed, 35 grams sugar, 3 grams instant yeast, 1 large egg, 1/4 cup milk, 1 small pinch of salt, 40 grams unsalted butter, softened
Filling: 30 grams chocolate, coarsely chopped or chocolate flakes, 1 cup crumbled plain sesame halvah, 1/4 cup tahini, well stirred, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, pinch of salt Syrup: 1/2 cup of water, 2 spoons of sugar
The dough: Whisk the vanilla into the milk. Next, mix the yeast into the milk. Add the flour, eggs, sugar, salt, and butter in small pinches. Mix until smooth; if the dough is very dry, add more milk; if the dough looks wet, add more flour until the dough comes together. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out on top; lightly dust the top of the dough. Grab the top portion of the dough and stretch it away from you, tearing the dough. Then fold it on top of the middle of the dough. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the stretch, pull, and fold. Continue to do this until you can stretch a small piece of dough very thin without it tearing, about 5 minutes. Then use your hands to push and pull the dough against the work surface and circular motion to create a nice dough round. Set the ball in the floured bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside at room temperature for 30 minutes. Set the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and press it into a thick rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour. Lightly coat a standard loaf pan with room-temperature unsalted butter. Roll the babka dough into a rectangle.
Spread the tahini in an even layer over the dough, all the way to the edges. Then sprinkle halvah and the chocolate chips in an even layer across the entire surface of the dough. Working from the top edge, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Then cut the dough in half lengthwise, and set the halves with the layers exposed. Divide the 2 long strips in half crosswise (to get 4 strips). Overlap one strip on top of another to make an X, making sure the exposed tahini halvah part of the dough faces up. Place the shaped babka in a loaf pan, exposed tahini/ halvah–side up. The dough should fill the pan by two-thirds and fit the length perfectly. Cover the pan with plastic wrap. Set the loaf pans aside until the dough rises a bit above the rim of the pan - 2 to 3 hours. Preheat the oven to 190 C.
Place the babkas in the oven and bake until they are dark brown and bake for about 40 minutes; check them after 25 minutes, and if they are getting too dark, tent them loosely with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, occasionally stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside the syrup to cool. Remove the babka from the oven, and while they are still hot, brush the surface generously with the cooled sugar syrup. Slice and serve warm or cool.
"Memoirs of a Space Traveler: Further Reminiscences of Ijon Tichy", 1954
Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi
1 bottle champagne (750ml) or any other sparking dry white wine, 1 pinch of saffron, 150g sugar, 25g powdered pectin, 6 gummy Bears Pectin Based
For the cream: 50ml double cream, ½ tsp icing sugar
Pour 200ml wine into a saucepan, add the saffron, sugar, and 100ml of water. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat. Dissolve pectin in hot water and add to the pan, stirring until they're connected. Pour the mixture of the pan into a large bowl and add the remaining champagne. Stir, then filter it. Pour into 8 wine glasses, stopping 2cm short of the top of each one. Place in the fridge to set. Add a couple of the gummy bears while the mixture is being slightly jellied. Whip cream and the icing sugar until they begin to thicken. Pour a 1cm-deep layer on each jelly as if it was a champagne foam.
Scrambled Eggs Eaten Through A Straw
1 egg, 1 tsp of butter, 3 tbsp of milk, a pinch of saffron, a pinch of turmeric, a bit of salt to taste
Preparation: Stir an egg and milk with a fork Add salt, saffron, turmeric Mix well Melt butter on a small skillet Pour the mixture on the pan Mix energetically and cook the eggs maximum of 1 minute Keep the eggs over easy Serve it in a champagne/ prosecco glass with a straw.
The Espionage Pizza
"Peace on Earth," 1984
The dough: 1 package active dry yeast, 2 cups lukewarm water, 6 1/2 cups flour, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp salt
The topping: olive oil, as needed, 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese, 1 tsp freshly ground red, white, green, and white peppercorns, 1 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary, 1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme, 1 tbsp fresh sage, 1 small onion, very thinly sliced, 3 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced, salt to taste
Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup water and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Combine the yeast and 1 cup of flour in a bowl. Add the 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp salt, 3/4 cup water, and half the remaining flour. Mix until the dough doesn't stick to your hands. Put the remaining flour and 3/4 cup water and mix well. Take the dough out of the bowl and slap it down until it stretches out lengthwise. Fold it and push it away. Lift it above the counter and slap it down hard a couple of times, stretching it out lengthwise. Repeat it a couple of times, for about 10 minutes. Form a round shape. Leave the dough on a baking sheet with some olive oil, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise for about 2 hours. Put the olive oil and all the sliced onions on a pan and cook until tender and crunchy. Stretch the dough in the oiled baking pan, work the chopped leaves in the dough. Cover with a damp towel and let it rise for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 235 C. Poke the dough with your fingers, making many little hollows with the fingertips. Beat the mixture of water, oil, and salt and pour it over the dough using a brush. Spread the onions, fresh garlic, and crushed peppercorns. Top with ricotta cheese. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Check if it is baked equally and bake for another 7 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a glass of Chianti.
Fermented baby onions and baby potatoes
“Star Diaries”, 1954
Ingredients & Preparation:
(for a 2 liters jar)
1. Sterilize the jar - you can do quick sterilization: fill the jar with hot water, empty it and fill it again, empty it again.
2. prepare the brine – for each jar - heat in a pot 3 cups of water + 3 teaspoons of Kosher salt. Heat till the salt melts.
3. Arrange 1.5 kilos of baby potatoes or baby onions (baby white onions, baby red onions, and shallots).
* you can peel if you want to have a quicker process or semi-peel them while leaving the final peel if you have loads of time).
4- For fermented onions:
Add 1 garlic head cut in halves.
Add some spices if you like
Cover with fresh dill.
For fermented onions – add just some dry spices or nothing. They have a strong taste anyway.
5- Pour the hot brine on top of the vegetables till they are totally covered.
6- Seal the jar.
7- Put it in your luggage and start traveling!
Inspired by Stanisław Lem's personal taste
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
300 g sugar
150 ml milk
5 g soaked in rum raisins
1 tsp icing sugar
plum or apple jam to serve
Mix the egg yolks with sugar and add flour until smooth. Add milk to the mixture. Whip the egg whites until stiff and add to the batter. Mix it slightly, keeping it fluffy and light. Add the raisins.
Fry the pancake on a pan with butter. Divide the omelet with a spoon into small chunks. Serve with icing sugar on the top and the jam aside.
by Łukasz Szlapa
“Observation on the Spot”, 1982
Golden Coffee Ingredients:
"Golden" Simple Syrup
- 1/4 cup (60ml) water
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1tsp (or 1 piece) grated turmeric root
Cold brew concentrate
- 30g of coarsely ground, specialty coffee
- 180g water (6:1 ratio) or 180g mix of water and ice cubes
- ice cubes
- 60ml cold brew concentrate
- 100ml good quality tonic water (subtly sweet)
- 15 ml "golden" simple syrup
- 2 dashes of orange bitters (optional)
- 1tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Combine ingredients of the syrup in a pot. Bring to a boil, mix for 30 seconds, remove from the stove, and let it infuse until it reaches room temperature. Then strain through a mesh strainer.
Mix ground coffee and water (you can use ice cubes if water is not cold enough), and leave in the fridge for 12-24h, then strain using a coffee filter. Store in a refrigerator in a closed container or bottle. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Add "golden" syrup, tonic water, bitters, and cold brew coffee. Finish with freshly squeezed lemon.
Baked sour and sweet beets with yogart
"Futurological Congress", 1971
4 small beetroots, unpeeled with leaves and stems
1 tsp olive oil
1 unpeeled whole garlic bulb
salt to season
200 gr fresh yogurt
1 tbsp running honey
1 pinch of salt
15 freshly ground cardamom seeds
A drizzle of olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180C. Wash the beets with stems and leaves. Dry with a paper towel and place the beetroots and garlic in a roasting tray covered with baking paper, ensuring that the vegetables are well coated in olive oil. Roast for an hour. Take the garlic bulb out. Turn the beets to roast equally on both sides. Bake the beets for another half an hour until they feel tender. Cut the stems with leaves from the roots and set them aside. Peel the beets and cut into half and slice them. Mix yogurt with olive oil and honey until smooth. Add freshly ground cardamom. Season with salt. Place the yogart dip in the shallow bowl, making a flat layer of it with a spoon. Arrange the beets on one half of the yogart. Place a couple of beets stems with leaves on another side of the serving dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and cardamom.
by Rafram Chaddad
"Futurological Congress", 1971
Ingredients - freestyle dozes:
A few layers of thin dough (Yufka, Filo or Malsuka) depending on the number of pages you need to have
a mixture of squid ink and fig liquor (or vodka) in proportion 3:1
melted clarified butter to brush
selection of cut seasonal fruits
Mix the ink extracted from the squid with a fig liqueur. Start to number the 'papers' - first with a stroke for page number, with ink. Brush a layer with some clarified butter, seasonal fruits, grounded almonds, and sugar. Each page/layer gets its own filling and numbers. Finish it with more butter on the outside. Send it to the oven for 20 min at 180 degrees.
by Łukasz Szlapa
“Return From the Stars”, 1961
Natural oil (sunflower or colza oil)
3/4 buckwheat flour
1/2 wheat flour
1tsp instant yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 glass of warm water
1 tsp of grounded flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water
1 tbsp oil
a pinch of salt
Spicy brown stuffing (inspired by Alex Gauthier’s Faux Gras)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
A pinch of salt
2 garlic cloves
12 middle size champignon mushrooms
A handful of dry wild mushrooms, a handful of dry shitake mushrooms - soaked and cooked
1 tbsp chopped herbs - rosemary, thyme, sage
1 tbsp cognac
200g boiled green lentils (about 100g dry lentils)
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp miso
1/2 or 1 pickled habanero (or chili flakes, cayenne, sriracha, or any other spicy mixture)
2 tbsp puree of boiled beetroots (or 2 tbsp beetroot juice)
20g olive oil
20g wheat flour
350ml dashi (or another plant milk)
2 łyżki (10g) yeast flakes
A pinch of nutmeg
salt and white pepper to season
Buckwheat popcorn: Heat the oil to 180 °C. Place a metal strainer in the pot and sprinkle buckwheat groats. Wait 5 - 10 minutes to “open” them. Drain the crispy groats on the paper towel.
Buckwheat pancakes: Mix flaxseed with water and leave for 15 minutes. Mix all the ingredients of the pancakes and leave the mixture to rest until it doubles its size. Fry on a non-stick pan or with a small amount of oil. Pour 1 - 1.5 tbsp of the batter and sprinkle with the buckwheat popcorn. Fry both sides until golden brown.
Stuffing: Fry champignon mushrooms and set them aside. Fry the rest of the dry mushrooms. Fry onion and garlic together. Add herbs, champignon, and dry mushrooms, miso, soya sauce, and cognac. Simmer for 5-6 minutes and let it cool down. Blend all the ingredients and add beetroots puree or juice, adding more cognac if needed to get a smooth texture.
Bechamel: prepare a roux of oil and flour. Add dashi or plant milk and mix energetically to avoid any lumps in the sauce. Bring it to boil, season with yeast flakes, nutmeg, salt, and white peppercorns. Boil for a few minutes. Sieve it to get rid of the pepper, pour into the siphon with an N20 gas cartidge, and shake. Leave it in the pot with 60 °C hot water.
Folding the bons: Throw a “plate” of buckwheat pancake, add a spoon of spicy stuffing, cover with the foam from the siphon. Decorate the bons with pickled habanero slices.
Meet The Team
Zofia Janina Borysewicz