Skruzdelynas, Mrowisko ciasto
Skruzdelynas or ciasto (dough) is a local sweet from the area bordering Lithuania: Skruzdelynas is the name the product is called in Lithuania, and Mrowisko ciasto is the name used in Poland. The Podalskie region in northeastern Poland and, more importantly, the area where the city of Suwalki is, near the Lithuanian border, are traditionally the areas where this sweet has always been prepared and eaten.
The sweet is made of crisp strips of fried dough, arranged nest-like in several layers to form a cone. It is all candied with a honey- and butter-based syrup, then sprinkled with raisins, poppy seeds and other dried fruits (nuts, coconut, almonds, hazelnuts). The result is a sweet that looks like Christmas tree to some; to others it looks like an anthill (with the poppy seeds representing the ants): the name Mrowisko ciasto means “anthill cake”.
The procedure to make this sweet requires time and know-how. The dough is flour-based, with eggs and sour cream: a soft, delicate dough is formed with these ingredients; it is then rolled out, cut into irregular strips and fried in lard. If prepared well, the fried dough stays light and fragrant even after adding honey. The dough itself is not sweet as it contains no sugar, but the final sweetness is due to the addition of honey.
This is a local recipe that has been handed down from one generation to the next over many years.
The sweet is typically prepared for Carnival, but also for weddings, christenings and other family celebrations.
Mrowisko ciasto has been included among local products by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Polish Rural Development.