Mackowiec at Kramarcruk’s

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

Poppy seed or nut rolls are an Eastern European staple, combining a rich yeast dough exterior with a sweet, sticky, rich filling. Whenever we’re up on the Iron Range, we track down,┬ápotica, one of Slovenia’s finest culinary exports. Although potica comes in a rainbow of varieties (including savory versions), nut potica is often all that’s on hand — we really dig the walnut potica from SuLu’s in Tower.

There comes a time, however, when you want a potica with a bit less sweetness and a more aggressive personality. The Polish-born equivalent of potica, mackowiec, is available at Kramarczuk’s and it has a poppy seed filling that carries a freight-load of flavor.

We picked up a loaf at Kramarczuk’s for $12.22 a pound (our loaf was $12.99), which is a steal considering the density of the bread and intensity of each bite — the taste of poppy seed mackowiec is a see-saw between the sweetness of the honey, sugar, and golden raisins, and the almost astringent bitterness of the poppy seeds. Serve it with coffee or tea in the afternoon, have a slice with breakfast, or call it dessert — this Eastern European flavor bomb has versatility to spare.

Kramarczuk’s, 215 Hennepin Ave E, Minneapolis, MN 55414; 612.379.3018