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Every one of us who has a grandmother knows what does it mean a good traditional cuisine. Tasty pancakes, sweet pies, dumplings, cakes, mince pies, pastries, roast meats, pâtés, salads, sauerkraut stew, pastas and delicious baked apples. That is what we remember from our youth and what we sometimes miss looking at elegant but impressively insufficient dishes on our plates in trendy restaurants. What is worse, thanks to popular TV shows we often find the same helping on our favorite plates in home. Why?
Polish cooking and so called Polish cuisine have changed very much during last fifteen years. Now we don't have any problems with finding exotic spices or ingredients on the shop shelves. Kitchen equipment, cooking books as well as food stuffs are easily available. Both Polish Television and commercial channels produce programs where famous cooks and celebrities (some of them from 80' or 90' but whatever) present their own recipes often used in restaurants and hotels, novelties and tricks. Of course all those ideas and recipes are after that published and can be found in every bookstore with a nice price on them. Poles are generally enthusiastic but a little blind therefore they watch TV shows and buy book without a bit of criticism. Oh, I almost forgot, they look really nice on the bookshelves. Because that what they are used for. Let's imagine: on public TV we have at least four cookery programs a week, in every one of them three recipes and we get a magic sum of twelve new things to cook every week. Average housewife eliminates game, because it's too expensive, and snails for her family would never eat something like that. Still we have about nine novelties and an army of women ready to prove that they are more modern that their neighbors. If a lady has a sense of humor as well as common sense, she uses about two new recipes. These are usually salads, soups, meats or cake. If she has a husband and children she probably won't make a very original, expensive and exotic dish like Mexican sea ragout because before she finishes her family will be out eating pizza.
Yes, fast food becomes a real problem in Poland. We drive fast, we live fast and we don't have time to celebrate and appreciate a good meal which was a tradition not so many years ago. One by one new fast foods, pizzerias and little Chinese or Vietnamese bar appear in big cities and small towns. It's easier to order a pizza than to make it oneself.
On the other hand we can observe that many people start to be aware of what they are eating or drinking. Shops that offer ecological food become more popular not only among vegetarians but among ordinary people as well. Of course we have out share of vegetarians, vegans, people who eat only meat or only raw food or only vegetable shakes.
Many of mentioned above: those eating only part of food stuffs, women always on diet and crazy TV cooks, in time return to what is called traditional Polish cuisine, though maybe a little healthier. Again they eat pork chops with potatoes and sauerkraut stew, and custard pie on Sunday. These dishes differ from those that were made by our grandmothers. They are greaseless or with little grease and flour amount. Spices, vegetables and other natural ingredients are very important in preparing them. Today we don't have to take popular in the past decades "Rapacholin" - a remedy for stomach problems.
Thanks to still developing food and cookery market our cuisine also evolves and Poles learn how to mix traditional Polish cuisine and variety of cuisines of the world.
Written by Ula
I'd just like to ask you what is your favourite polish dish, do you eat alot of meat and vegetables, do you like sweet stuff, or do you like junk foods, such as burgers and chips, kebabs, pizzas etc... this question is for you polish people, as i'm interested....