Lining up for that Easter Kielbasa

ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — There are lots of Easter food traditions, but not many that will get people standing line like kielbasa. For the Polish, it’s essential to the East Sunday feast.

“Kielbasa, Easter ham, some desserts, bread, horseradish,” Evona Krieg of Monroe said. “I come every year.”

“Real Polish Easter has a long, long tradition for buying babkas and kielbasa and lambs,” Maria Kuna from Europol Deli in Ansonia said. “We have lambs that are from sugar, we have lambs that are from babka bread.”

Maria and her family run Europol. They’re busy many days, but this is the weekend you’ll find the deli line coil its way through the whole store.

“It takes almost a month of preparation to get all the merchandise in so the customers have a variety to choose from,” Kuna said.

At Europol, they get their babka from New Britain, their kielbasa from New York, but there are plenty of places in Connecticut that make their own kielbasa. At least one has been making it the same way for decades.

“The same way, the same recipes and we get the same customers,” said Grace Ziolo of Ziolo’s Deli at Wozniak.

It’s been that way since Wozniak’s opened on Grand Avenue in New Haven around 70 years ago. Ten years ago, the Ziolo’s took over and it’s now called Ziolo’s Deli at Wozniak’s. Even with the name change, people know the traditions all remain the same, and that’s why they keep coming.

“‘Cause this is where my grandfather, my great grandfather have been coming, so I have to keep the tradition going,” Lesley Foti of East Haven said, “and then my kids will keep the tradition going too. As long as they’re open we’ll be coming.”

But get your meat and babka while you can. The building here is up for sale and the Ziolos don’t know if they’ll be able to stay.

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