Why Polish bakers dish out breads and pastries with lightning marks

POLAND-ABORTION-PASTRY
A baker Asia Olejniczak offers breads with a bolt sign as a ubiquitous symbol of the protests sweeping across Poland following last week's Constitutional Court verdict that nearly bans abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation in Warsaw, Poland. REUTERS/Kuba Stezycki
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Warsaw: With no time to attend the abortion rights protests sweeping Poland, Asia Olejniczak, a baker in Warsaw, is instead expressing her support by baking bread loaves emblazoned with the protesters' new symbol: a lightning bolt.

POLAND-ABORTION-PASTRY
A baker prepares pastry with a bolt sign as a ubiquitous symbol of the protests sweeping across Poland following last week's Constitutional Court verdict that nearly bans abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation in Warsaw, Poland. REUTERS/Kuba Stezycki

Thousands have gathered across Poland daily since the Constitutional Tribunal further limited Poland's already restrictive abortion laws, making terminations due to foetal abnormalities illegal.

On Friday demonstrators were converging on Warsaw for their eighth straight day of rallies.

The lightning bolt has become a symbol for the protests, with marchers painting it on their faces, face masks, hands and posters, and spray painting it on walls and sidewalks.

"They could all go on the street and I couldn't be there so I'm baking them bread and I will sell it in support of them," Olejniczak, the owner of the Kromka bakery, told Reuters.

POLAND-ABORTION-PASTRY
A baker prepares a bread with a bolt sign as a ubiquitous symbol of the protests sweeping across Poland following last week's Constitutional Court verdict that nearly bans abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation in Warsaw, Poland. REUTERS/Kuba Stezycki

She said demand for her lighting bolt loaves was high, with people reserving the loaves and posting pictures of them on their Instagram stories.

Jacek Malarski and Albert Judycki, who run the Polish Lukullus pastry chain, also wanted to show their solidarity by selling Napoleon desserts, a custard pastry, with icing sugar lightning bolts stencilled on top.

POLAND-ABORTION-PASTRY
A bakery offers a bread with a bolt sign as a ubiquitous symbol of the protests sweeping across Poland following last week's Constitutional Court verdict that nearly bans abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation in Warsaw, Poland. REUTERS/Kuba Stezycki

"We've already sold over 1,000 napoleonki...we are running out of them every day so we bake as much as we can," Malarski told Reuters.

The pair say that, despite the tough economic times brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, they will donate the proceeds from the pastry sales to the cause.

"They're taking away the rights of women to decide for themselves, they are denying minorities their humanity, they're doing it officially," Malarski told Reuters.

POLAND-ABORTION-PASTRY
A bakery offers a bread with a bolt sign as a ubiquitous symbol of the protests sweeping across Poland following last week's Constitutional Court verdict that nearly bans abortion in the predominantly Catholic nation in Warsaw, Poland. REUTERS/Kuba Stezycki

"What will happen next? They'll stop us from running our business because of our sexual orientation or because we don't go to church?"

(Writing by Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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