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a prodiż in full gloryThe first time it came up the immigrant and his Beloved were on the way to a party.
“Oh, and yes, we will have something to eat. She told me she was making some stew in her prodiż.”
“In her what?”
“In her prodiż” she repeated. Was he never listening?
“And what, exactly, is a prodiż?” he inquired.
She looked at him unbelieving, then she realized it might be called different in other countries.
“You know, this think you can bake stuff in.”
“Oh, an oven.”
“No, that small thing you can use to make stew, or bake in. I always use it to make great cake!”
“eh…” he considered this information. Not an oven, but small. And you could make cake in it.
“Do you mean something like a microwave? Or some sort of toaster oven?”
“No! Not some oven. It’s a prodiż! Ah, just wait, you’ll see it in a few minutes and then you will see what I mean.”
He did see it a few minutes later, but he indeed did not see what she meant.
“What on earth is that thing?” he asked.
The people present stared at him, unbelieving. “It’s a prodiż.” They said. “How come you don’t know that?”

It is funny in a way that there are some things that just can’t be translated, because they do not exist in the languages one uses to describe these things. The Prodiż (say PRAW-dish) is something completely ubiquitous in Polish households. A big metal dish with it’s own heating system. Not unlike a slow cooker (another thing most Germans never heard off before), but instead of cooking stuff slow it is supposed to be a proper small oven.
Perfect for times when space is limited, apartments (like student dorms) have no proper oven, or when the main oven is in use and you want to make something on the side.
And it’s completely unknown in other parts of the world. A small investigation into Wikipedia brings up exactly two entries, one in the Polish version, and one in the Czech one (here called a Remoska). Besides this the device is nearly unknown.

I would have loved to have something like that when I started studying. My apartment back then lacked an oven, a fact that I was lamenting over for years. How are you supposed to live healthy and have some variety in your food when all you have are two cooking plates? Dorm life basically forced me to live off pasta and sauce alone! Or something like that.

But the situation is quite funny: there they are, young people versed in the world, many actually spend time abroad, lived there, cooked there, and talked the language. And yet the idea that something completely normal was missing never came up. And why would it? They just assumed it was there, somewhere, hidden is some kitchen cupboard. People just were not using it right now. And people would surely know it when they saw it.

I notice this rather often lately. From my perspective some things are missing here very badly, but people don’t notice them. Because how are you supposed to notice something you never knew was missing?


Written by krrrk

October 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Posted in Cooking, Missing things

Tagged with , ,