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Polish Cuisine in the Foreigner's Eyes


Achilles  
2 Nov 2006 /  #1
Food and language have at least one thing in common; they come much easier to those with an inquisitive open mind. However translation can be difficult, in that there is definitely a different way of butchering meat before the customer buys it. I speak of the difference between Polish and British cuts of meat. Polish food is different and for a foreigner to enjoy it the first essential is to accept that it is different. Having said that, I personally still lament the lack of good beefsteak in Poland. Yet it is possible – in 1992 I ate one of the finest steaks that I have ever eaten in the Petropol Hotel in Płock. The chef deserved a medal.

Whilst there are deficiencies there are enormous gains. Polish mushrooms open a vista of indulgence that does not exist, certainly in Britain. Virtually all meat cooking is done on the hot plates of the cooker and not, as in Britain, in the oven. The pride of Polish meat cuisine is found in the smoked sausages, the concept does not really exist in Britain, while Germans and Italians can only envy Poles for the variety and quality of their sausages. The traditional cuisines of Britain and Poland complement each other; being different they do not compete.

Becoming familiar with Polish food is more attractive to the carnivore than the vegetarian; indeed the vegetarians must fend for themselves in Poland. There are real regional differences in Polish cuisine, which derive from different soils and cropping. Potatoes grow better in the west than on the poorer soils of the east, where cereal flour based noodles and dumplings are more popular. Polish cooking was more subject to the seasonal availability of various vegetables and fruits. Due to the now ubiquitous supermarkets, this seasonal factor in waning.

The answer to the question of course is that it is as difficult or easy as one wishes to make it for oneself. Personally, I believe that everything should be tried at least once. Of course one will not like everything, yet rejection should be based on personal experience rather than xenophobic prejudice. If through such an attitude one only remained in ignorance of Polish soups the deprivation would still be calamitous.

The Polish attitude to food is more akin to the French attitude than the Anglo-American approach. Poles regard eating as one of the pleasures of life and not just as a tiresome biological necessity. A Pole expects to enjoy food, which is a very promising sign for the visitor. Now more and more restaurants are providing multilingual menus so eating out is more predictable to the non-Polish speaker. Perhaps I might best conclude with something that I know from experience, my maternal grandmother, an American, had always refused asparagus on sight, at the age of fifty she ate some by mistake. She spent the next twenty years of her life eating asparagus whenever she could! She was fortunate in having those twenty years.

Achilles Węgorz
uk_ 8 | 85  
2 Nov 2006 /  #2
Polish loves potato, tea & soup alot
Shelley  
3 Nov 2006 /  #3
I believe that everything should be tried at least once. Of course one will not like everything, yet rejection should be based on personal experience rather than xenophobic prejudice.

This all depends on how some one is brough up and what they are exposed to in the home... those of us that are fortunate will experiment, those that are from a closed and limited envionment will shun what is not the norm......thats why there are so many places around europe that sell a full english breakfast!!!.....

Poles regard eating as one of the pleasures of life and not just as a tiresome biological necessity. A Pole expects to enjoy food

As do some english, you must realise that not all of us eat takeouts and frozen food, some of us cook and enjoy the fruits of our labour....meal times are for pleasure and conversation.

good beefsteak in Poland.

I ate one of the nicest stakes in an Italian restaurant in the jewish area in Krakow...I have

to say I thought your post was excellent...thanks for the valuable contribution
Barney 14 | 1,472  
21 Apr 2009 /  #4
The Polish attitude to food is more akin to the French attitude than the Anglo-American approach.

I heard a thing on the radio today about regional English cheese and it got me thinking about regional produce and cooking in Poland. Ask a Frenchman what he is eating and instead of saying pork or whatever he will say, for example, "Its a dish from alsace". We all know where Pata negra, Camembert , Balsamic etc comes from what about Poland?

Is the above quote accurate?

I did a search and apart from Krzystof's Thread and this one I couldn't find much.
freebird 3 | 532  
21 Apr 2009 /  #5
Polish Cuisine in the Foreigner's Eyes

tasty but too heavy
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
21 Apr 2009 /  #6
Generally excellent but some lighter summer foods wouldn't go amiss. I agree with freebird.
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
21 Apr 2009 /  #7
I ate one of the nicest stakes in an Italian restaurant in the jewish area in Krakow

One advantage the Poles are rapidly losing is the quality of the ingredients. A couple of years ago my wife pinched one of my Welsh granny's old English cookbooks and made some of the dishes with Polish ingredients (toad in the hole I think was one of them), and they were great.

People laugh at English food but the problem is not the dishes, but the ingredients. The Poles have a real advantage here but now the supermarkets and the big distributors are moving in, the quality is dropping to Western Europen standards. Eventually you'll have the foods that were being sold at the market 15 years ago being repackaged as 'Organic' or 'Ecological' or just being sold in places like Alma under fancy labels and at 4 times the price.

Shame but that's the free market I guess.

Poles regard eating as one of the pleasures of life and not just as a tiresome biological necessity. A Pole expects to enjoy food,

So why are town centres full of kebab / pizza shops?
sledz 23 | 2,250  
21 Apr 2009 /  #8
I love Polish food:)

But its too fatening to eat all the time, Once or twice a month I`ll have some pierogi or globaki:)
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
21 Apr 2009 /  #9
Yeah, I heard that this morning too from one of my students. That whilst the Brits lay the emphasis on presentation, the Poles put it on taste and enjoyment. RIIIIGHT, hence the ketchup on the pizzas. Let's put pork crackles or bacon bits in the lard, just to give it extra heart-attack potential. Even the Scots lag behind with the deep-fried Mars bar.
nunczka 8 | 458  
21 Apr 2009 /  #10
I love my Polish food. I was raised on it. Although I can afford any other food, I stick with my Ethnic Peasant food. Eaten reasonably one does not have to get fat. Eating a big meal of any food and then sitting on your ass will make anybody fat.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
21 Apr 2009 /  #11
The Hungarian kitchen really added an edge to the cuisine here. Things like goulasz, bogracz and leczo are part of the national cuisine scene here and are quite popular. We all borrow things from other countries. The Brits esp from India (e.g kedgeree)
southern 75 | 7,096  
21 Apr 2009 /  #12
Polish food is really very bad in my opinion because they take traditional good tasting dishes from neighbouring folks like Hungarians,Czechs,Russians and make them awful by adding strange sauces and sweet things thus changing definitely the flavour.They also make very bad tasting salads by using unnatural ingredients.

The power of the polish cuisine is definetely the kiolbasa which they make like sausage is made in balkan province and villages,really heavy,not like german bratwurst or Frankfurter.

They also have some interesting soups.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
21 Apr 2009 /  #13
Poland is maybe no1 in the world for soups, maybe even ahead of Scotland and that's saying something.

Strange sauces? Like what? Sweet? You should make your own salads from the wonderful world of fresh vegetables here. My student is a horticultural dude and produces top-class tomatoes (fruit) and cucumbers. The lettuce here is great too. You ought to stay away from McDonalds mate.

The sausages here are superb, esp when grilled.
southern 75 | 7,096  
21 Apr 2009 /  #14
In my opinion the Czechs have grasped very well what Middle Europa food is all about and they produce excellent and very commercial dishes.Poles seem to lack this taste because they want to sweeten the food.Maybe the polish food is supposed to be combined with vodka while the czech food needs to be typically combined by beer and that's why the difference.

However if you don't drink vodka to counter the strong taste,the polish food seems peculiar.Some more evidence that Poles like to sweeten things typically not sweet is that they add juice to beer which is sth noone else does.These flavours are not for everyone.
niejestemcapita 2 | 561  
21 Apr 2009 /  #15
is that they add juice to beer which is sth noone else does

ummm lager and lime?
Snakebite and black?
Lemonade shandy? etc etc

Anyway what are u on about Polish food is great
southern 75 | 7,096  
21 Apr 2009 /  #16
You have to just compare the czech gulash,the hungarian gulash and the polish gulash and then you know what is all about.
miranda  
21 Apr 2009 /  #17
I am into foreign food and I like it.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
21 Apr 2009 /  #18
Southern, what sweeteners? I don't follow. Are you thinking of Chinese sweet n sour?

The Czechs produce knedle (nothing special) and fried cheese to inflate the gut :( Don't get me wrong, I like it but it's hardly vintage cuisine.
southern 75 | 7,096  
21 Apr 2009 /  #19
knedle (nothing special)

Knedliky a zeli is enough.This cuisine does not need anything more.
Probably the most tasty cuisine in Europe is the mediteranean.Italian,Spanish,French and Greek cuisine are worldwide trademarks.
But middle Europe cuisine is interesting in Hungary,Czech Republic,not in Austria,Switzerland,Poland.It has to do with aesthetics,life attitude,etc.
niejestemcapita 2 | 561  
21 Apr 2009 /  #20
mediteranean.Italian,Spanish,French and Greek cuisine

yeh all copied from Turkish....:}
polishcanuck 7 | 462  
21 Apr 2009 /  #21
tasty but too heavy

Agreed. Cutting out much of the saturated fat would do wonders.

Poland is maybe no1 in the world for soups

I'd would say PL soups are #2, with the hungarians in first place.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
21 Apr 2009 /  #22
Yeah, Polish cuisine lags behind a few but it's not really a competition, it's just different. It suits the Poles well.
southern 75 | 7,096  
21 Apr 2009 /  #23
yeh all copied from Turkish....:}

Sorry,the Turks came too late.They borrowed some dishes which they changed to more spicy and heavy.And Turks don't eat pork,that is why Doner kebab cannot be compared to gyros.

But one style of greek cuisine resembles a bit the turkish one,it came from Greeks living in Istanbul and Smyrni.(of course the dishes existed before the Turks came to Istanbul).

Other styles like cuisine of Creta,central or northern Greece have nothing to do with turkish cuisine.

And italian cuisine is a totally different art and civilization.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
21 Apr 2009 /  #24
Hungarian soups are spicy so maybe. Scottish soups are 3 then. Clam chowder is legendary but what about the others from that country?
niejestemcapita 2 | 561  
21 Apr 2009 /  #25
Sorry,the Turks came too late

Its Ok southern I only said it to wind you up.....;@) gosh that was easy
miranda  
22 Apr 2009 /  #26
middle eastern food is probably one of the best when it comes to uncomplicated flavour.

The only food I don't like is Indian - just doesn't agree with me.

I just though you would want to know that:)
svengoola - | 69  
22 Apr 2009 /  #27
Weed is added for enhanced flavor
PennBoy 76 | 2,437  
22 Apr 2009 /  #28
I havn't met a foreigner yet that didn't like Golombki

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