As a Gossip Girl addict, I am a huge fan of the cast, especially a certain Polish maid known as Blair’s go-to lady. Before the start of this delightfully drama filled season, I met up with Gossip Girl’s Zuzanna Szadkowski who plays ‘Dorota’ and learned a little more about America’s favorite housekeeper!

Dorota, er Zuzanna, doesn’t just play a Polish character on the hit TV show, she’s actually of Polish heritage and can speak Polish fluently. My recent trip to Poland, definitely sparked a personal love for the country. The town of Gdansk, where I stayed, was full of history and beautiful architecture and shopping. And the food…well, that I’m still working on! While I’ve developed a love for a traditional Polish steak tartare and pierogi, foods like tripe (soup made from the intestines of livestock) and pig feet carpaccio are still a challenge for me to appreciate. Below, Dorota talks about her own experiences with Poland and what some of her favorite Polish foods are for the holidays!

SV: What do you generally do for the Holidays?

Zuzanna: I like to spend time with my family in North Carolina for the Christmas Holiday. We do a very traditional Polish Christmas. Like twelve courses!

SV: You are from Poland originally, but moved here when you were three?

Zuzanna: Yes

SV: Have you been back since?

Zuzanna: Yeah, I go a lot. I have my immediate family that lives there.  My mom, dad and myself are the only people from my whole family who live in America. Everyone else is in Warsaw…so I’ve been going back as often as possible, kinda my whole life. Also, I have a couple of super close friends who live in Poland that I count among my best friends, so it’s nice to go there and hang out with them. I really grew up with my girlfriend, Paulina who’s there. She’s like my childhood companion from when we were kids. When we were 16, we back-packed around Europe so it was really funny because I would go to Poland and then travel. She’s one of my best friends so I try to get there as much as I can.

SV: What’s your favorite Polish food?

Zuzanna: Oh, that’s definitely easy for me – Pierogi are my favorite! I like – what actually in Poland is called ‘Russian Pierogi’. It’s just potato and cheese. My parents make it for during the holidays. We’ll always make a batch together. I’ve never really mastered it on my own (laughs). So, that’s my favorite and beyond that, I kinda like…um…well, there are a lot of things I’ve had in Poland that I really like. Things like pickles…and poached donuts.

SV: Poached donuts???!!!

Zuzanna: (laughing) Um, it’s a totally different taste than an American donut, it has rose petal jam inside.

SV: What? (laughing)

Zuzanna: Yeah, it’s crazy good! But those are kinda like the most obvious things. My parents are really into Polish food so like they eat a lot of things that gross me out.

SV: Like what?

Zuzanna: My dad will eat, like, Pig knuckles (laughs) and tripe. So there’s a lot of stuff that I, you know, find ‘too much’ for me but I kinda like the more ‘obvious’ things (laughing). Yeah, it can be really challenging…the Polish cuisine.

SV: So you’re close to your parents then?

Zuzanna: Yeah, I’m an only child.

SV: Any plans for New Years?

Zuzanna: Not really, I always just kinda play it by ear. I’ve never really done anything ‘big’. I always end up with a small group of people somewhere random. Um, I don’t know, I’ve just never found a way to really get that Holiday up and it’s like I feel like it’s where you are too – you can kinda go just anywhere and there’s a lot of weird things going on (laughs). “I like it when places are cool and atmospheric in their own way”.

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