According to the philosophy of the Mercato restaurant, cuisine should be based on food products which best represent the tradition of the Pomerania region; grown, fished or bred exclusively in this area and no further than 100 km from Gdansk, in line with the latest ‘farm-to-table’ culinary trend. Pawel Stawicki author’s menu combines local and seasonal products in modern way, with culinary trends from around the world.
With the new menu served at Mercato we have endeavoured to capture and highlight the multicultural and metropolitan aspects of Gdansk’s culinary culture, not observed at such scale in any other Polish city. It has evolved since the times of the Lusatian culture and the Proto-Pomeranians who intermingled with other peoples to give rise to the Kashubian population that is indigenous to Gdansk and Pomerania. It was influenced by the inflow of the Poles under the Piast dynasty, and the Brandenburgians from Germany who laid the groundwork for Prussian cuisine, the Mennonites from Holland who settled down in Zulawy, to end up with the wave of mass immigration of Poles from the Vilnius Region after the 2nd World War. The awareness of the surrounding wealth of cultural and culinary diversity that exists here in spite of the turbulent history can be found to a greater or lesser extent, more or less consciously, in many homes of today’s inhabitants of Gdansk and Pomerania.
Our philosophy is personified and represented in the form of graphic works featured in the restaurant, whilst our logo is made up of four symbols that are of key importance to us: the Broad Bean, as broad beans have been grown by the Pomeranians since the times of the Lusatian culture; the fine Baltic Salmon that used to be served to the noble tables of Gdansk residents of German origin, now caught by fishermen in the waters spanning from Hel to the Vistula Spit who form for this very purpose special cooperatives called ‘maszoperie’; the Pomeranian fagas sheep brought to Zulawy from Holland by the Mennonites; and the Duck Breast as the symbol of fowl that have been bred in Pomerania to be consumed by the Polish, Kashubian and Prussian inhabitants of Pomerania. The symbols now constitute the hallmark of the Mercato restaurant. These four regional food products will be included in Mercato’s menu subject to seasonal availability together with other Gdansk Pomerania’s local foods.
The very name of Mercato is intended to commemorate Via Mercatorum, the overland trade route that in ancient times linked Gdansk with the south of Poland and was used for delivering colonial goods first to the tables of Gdansk residents and then to other markets across Poland. In appreciation of Gdansk’s centuries-long culinary tradition of using colonial food products, Chef Pawel Stawicki has decided to enhance his latest culinary philosophy with a narrow range of colonial products, yet only such that would have been delivered to Gdansk in the past, before the era of refrigeration in maritime transport.