If you want to try traditional Polish food, you must stop counting calories. Polish cuisine is rich in meat of all kinds, sour cabbage, cereals, dried mushrooms, sour rye as well as different kinds of noodles and dumplings. Generally speaking, Polish cuisine is hearty, filling and mouth-watering. Widely famous for their hospitality, Polish people tend to put their heart into cooking, allowing themselves a generous amount of time for that, according to the saying: ” Guest coming into house – God coming into house”. So what makes Polish cuisine so unique?
Any good meal starts with soup and Poland is famous for having as many types of soups as France has of cheeses. The most popular one is rosół – poultry or beef bouillon served with noodles and sprinkled liberally with parsley. Also very well known is barszcz – a spicy beetroot broth often served with beans or so called uszka – ravioli-type pastries stuffed with meat or mushrooms. Another soup worth looking out for is żurek – made from fermented rye and often flavored with sausage, potatoes and hard-boiled eggs. You will also be delighted by botwinka which is a seasonal soup made from the leaves of beetroot as well as krupnik – barley soup on rich chicken stock with chunks of meat, potatoes and vegetables. True gourmet treats are flaczki (tripe cooked in a spicy bouillon stock with vegetables) as well as mushroom soup usually thickened with sour cream and served either with rice or pasta.
Throughout the past decade meat consumption in Poland has remained among the highest in Europe. Yes, you can definitely say that Poles are insatiable meat eaters who cannot imagine a day without eating meat. Hams and sausages are consumed at all times during the day and beef and pork in different guises (fried, grilled, roasted) are the must of most meals. Perhaps the best-known Polish culinary classic is kotlet schabowy – a pork cutlet coated in breadcrumbs and usually served with potatoes and cabbage. Other popular pork dishes are golonka – pork knuckle and kaszanka – Polish blood sausage made with groats. Also worth trying are gołąbki – cabbage leaves stuffed with meat and rice. The most renowned Polish specialty, very popular throughout the world is kielbasa– excellent smoked sausage.
For those who don’t eat meat Poland offers a large variety of vegetarian dishes. Besides widely known pierogi – very traditional dumplings filled with sauerkraut and mushrooms, cottage cheese and potatoes or seasonably fruits, you can also taste naleśniki – pancakes stuffed with jam, fruit or cottage cheese and knedle – potato dumplings stuffed with fruit. Also, for vegetarians, side dishes such as kluski śląskie – Silesian dumplings made from boiled potatoes and knedle– potato dumplings stuffed with fruits, usually plums. Apart from that, very popular and mouth- watering are placki ziemniaczane – potato pancakes.
As for pastries and cakes, besides all the delicacies such as: babka drożdżowa – made from yeast dough, pączki– closed donut filled with rose marmalade, faworki – pastry twisters, sernik (cheesecake) – made primarily of twaróg (cottage cheese) and szarlotka (apple pie), there are also other traditional ones such as: makowiec– Swiss-roll type of cake with poppyseed and pierniki – gingerbread shapes filled with marmalade of different fruit flavors and covered with chocolate (best known are from Torun).
If you’re not hungry yet, go and try some authentic Polish food to discover how delicious it is. Just a word of caution though: you will most likely gain a few extra pounds.