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Which foods are generally disliked/unpopular in Poland? Which non-Polish foods are slowly gaining popularity?


NieNazwany
1 Feb 2020 #1
For example, I heard lamb is rarely (if even at all) used in traditional Polish cuisine, and is generally disliked/unpopular in Poland. Or has lamb been slowly gaining popularity in Poland in recent years?
DominicB - | 2,701
1 Feb 2020 #2
@NieNazwany

As far as lamb goes, most Poles have never tasted it. While the country does produce some lamb meat, it is overwhelming destined for export. You'll encounter it in upscale restaurants, and rarely anywhere else. The Poles that I know who did try lamb mostly found the taste disagreeable, specifically a bit "rotten". And I'm talking about very young lamb, not mutton. Lamb marketers have a tough row to hoe in Poland.

Other big dislikes are any cheese or any fish except for the very blandest varieties. So bland that you have a hard time telling one variety or species apart from another. Aromatic cheeses or fish with a fuller flavor physically disgust them, except herring and smoked mackerel.

Sage and licorice are taboo, too. Both provoke violent retching. Even the mildest forms of licorice. You see do see sage in the spice section in the store, but beats me who buys it.
mafketis 23 | 7,827
1 Feb 2020 #3
The Poles that I know who did try lamb

It's sometimes available in places like biedronka and lidl and I know a couple of Poles who even like it but don't buy it often because of the price...

. You see do see sage in the spice section in the store

Do you mean cząber? It's always been available or do you mean szałwia?

Licorice is a hard sell in Poland, especially the salty licorice beloved by scandinavians... ech
OP NieNazwany
1 Feb 2020 #4
or any fish except for the very blandest varieties. So bland that you have a hard time telling one variety or species apart from another

or fish with a fuller flavor physically disgust them, except herring and smoked mackerel

Thank you DominicB. I forgot to also ask about goat meat, which I'm also guessing is generally not used in traditional Polish cuisine? Many people seem to equate lamb meat with goat meat and/or mutton, in the sense that most countries that are big on lamb meat are also big on goat and/or mutton. As for fish, I've heard of only carp in traditional Polish cuisine (Christmas time only), plus herring/smoked mackerel as you mentioned. And so I take it shellfish in general also not used in traditional Polish cuisine? I'm quite certain I've never heard of crab/lobster/mussels/shrimp/scallop etc in traditional Polish cuisine. Are those also generally (un)popular in Poland? Or at least are any of those gaining popularity?
mafketis 23 | 7,827
1 Feb 2020 #5
n I've never heard of crab/lobster/mussels/shrimp/scallop etc in traditional Polish cuisine

Some young people like them but a lot of older people think of lobster and shrimp as 'robaki' (bugs).
Lyzko 25 | 7,512
1 Feb 2020 #6
..whereas technically they're "rYbaki", although crustaceons rather than fish:-)
OP NieNazwany
1 Feb 2020 #7
a lot of older people think of lobster and shrimp as 'robaki' (bugs)

LOL mafketis, others (all age groups) have told me they too think of those as "bugs". Most likely those items (and other seafood in general) are less uncommon/unpopular in northeast Poland bordering Baltic Sea?

Oops my bad, I meant northwest Poland
Lenka 3 | 1,932
1 Feb 2020 #8
have told me they too think of those as "bugs".

Well, they are much closer to bugs than fish...
As to the rest I would generally agree.
pawian 163 | 10,429
1 Feb 2020 #9
The Poles that I know who did try lamb mostly found the taste disagreeable,

Well, I decided to run an experiment a few weeks ago and cooked Irish lamb steak which I bought in Carrefour. Twice as expensive as beef and thrice as pork, that is why it isn`t too popular here. As for the taste, I expected sth awful, as you suggest, but it was OK. Not a revelation, just tasty meat. But it means I am going to stick to cheaper pork or beef.

Aromatic cheeses or fish with a fuller flavor physically disgust them,

Hmm, by aromatic cheese you probably mean those stinking smelly kinds. OK. But what kind of aromatic fish do you mean coz I can`t recall any now?
Miloslaw 6 | 3,239
1 Feb 2020 #10
Other big dislikes are any cheese or any fish except for the very blandest varieties.

This is the main problem with Polish tastes.
They are like Britain in the 1950's..... not interested in trying anything new and quite happy to eat bland boiled potatoes as long as they have a bit of dill sprinkled on them..... time to hit the 21st century Poland.... at least we are educating the Poles in the UK, most of them have grown to love Indian cuisine ( Which has been adopted as part of British cuisine now).
mafketis 23 | 7,827
1 Feb 2020 #11
This is the main problem with Polish tastes.

There is no problem with Polish tastes.... why does every effin' group in the world have to have the same taste?

And Poles are not 1950s Brits... different history different paths. That's a _good_ thing.

most of them have grown to love Indian cuisine

I have a friend who liked the taste of curry but was inevitably left in abdominal agony afterward and won't go near the stuff now.
Miloslaw 6 | 3,239
1 Feb 2020 #12
And Poles are not 1950s Brits

Trust me, they are.....Poles are not very interested in other countries cuisines..... just like some Americans, eh Maf?
pawian 163 | 10,429
1 Feb 2020 #13
quite happy to eat bland boiled potatoes as long as they have a bit of dill sprinkled on them

It is clear you didn`t read recent statistics on potato production and consumption in Poland - we produce 5 times less potatoes than in communist times. The consumption - 220kg per person in 1960s. Today - 90kg.

podr.pl/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Rynek-ziemniaka.pdf

Simply speaking, give Poles more time, Milo. Patience, please. Hurry is only neccessary when you are trying to catch your fleas.

.Poles are not very interested in other countries cuisines...

Of course, it is a mistaken view if you talk about all Poles. Remember, there are Poles and Poles. :):)
Miloslaw 6 | 3,239
1 Feb 2020 #14
Simply speaking, give Poles more time, Milo. Patience, please

Fair enough, but my post was correct, as your comment implies......
pawian 163 | 10,429
1 Feb 2020 #15
It was correct when you mentioned a large consumption of potatoes in Poland. Yes, Poles eat twice as much of them as in other countries in Europe.

However, potatoes have nothing to do with your second assertion which I dubbed wrong for obvious reasons - namely, the alleged lack of interest in foreign cuisines. Somebody can eat a lot of potatoes and still be interested in other cuisines, one doesn`t clash with the other. :):)
Miloslaw 6 | 3,239
1 Feb 2020 #16
Yes, but it is true of most Poles that they are not very interested in foreign cuisine.
Poles are like Brits in the fifties.... not very experimental.... it will change over time...
cms neuf - | 1,285
1 Feb 2020 #17
When was the last time you visited Milo ? In all Polish cities you will find plenty of sushi, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Arab, Greek, Thai, vegan and many other choices
pawian 163 | 10,429
1 Feb 2020 #18
Yes, but it is true of most Poles that they are not very interested in foreign cuisine.

Yes, now it is better when you say - most Poles. I can partly agree with you - urban Poles are open to new tastes, hence there are so many foreign restaurants in big cities while the countryside prefers to remain traditional.

Partly because even the country guys like to order pizza and kebab when they visit a city. How about burgers at McDonald`s? These foods are all foreign cuisines` representatives. So, we can`t really say most Poles are not interested. :):)
Miloslaw 6 | 3,239
1 Feb 2020 #19
When was the last time you visited Milo ? I

Yeah, the cities are better,but some of the "ethnic" restaurants are really naff, compared to other european cities..... a few are pretty good, I will admit, but not that many Poles eating there.

urban Poles are open to new tastes

Yes they are.
But not the majority.
But it will happen.
cms neuf - | 1,285
2 Feb 2020 #20
Of course they are naff compared to London - almost every city in the world is worse off than London for ethnic restaurants.poland is still quite a poor country and customers can not afford the best ingredients and chefs all the time.

Exception is sushi - apart from maybe Frankfurt and Düsseldorf I think Poland has the best in Europe and outside Warsaw most towns have some good sushi bar - it is becoming to Poles what curry is to English, a default option that you can take away or eat at the restaurant.

All supermarkets have plenty of ethnic food now - Piotr i Pawel, Lidl and Biedronka have pioneered that and the others followed. Poles returning from holidays have wider tastes and foreign travel has really taken off in the last 10 years.

I even disagree with what you say about strong cheese - it was never going to be a winner without organized retailers - many small shops in the 90s did not have chiller cabinets which are expensive to buy and run, there were few refrigerated trucks or warehouses. Now you can find a good range of French, Italian, Spanish cheeses in most supermarkets plus strong Austrian cheeses.
pawian 163 | 10,429
2 Feb 2020 #21
almost every city in the world is worse off than London for ethnic restaurants.

One guy in a listening exercise in one of my textbooks mentions a poll which revealed Brits don`t like their own cuisine and prefer to choose foreign ones.
Atch 17 | 3,086
2 Feb 2020 #22
As I live in Warsaw I can say that I see a huge difference particularly over the last 10 years or so in the availabilty of non-Polish foods and ingredients even in places well outside the city centre. I would also strongly disagree that Poles don't like to experiment or try foreign foods. Quite the opposite in fact and it's not just millennials. Lots of older people too and they don't just confine it to eating out, they try recipes at home. I think food choices are determined more by what people can afford than conservative tastes. If it's foreign and they can afford it, they'll try it.
mafketis 23 | 7,827
2 Feb 2020 #23
food choices are determined more by what people can afford than conservative tastes

Well in communist times when food was not easily obtained (no one starved but shopping took a lot of time and effort) had a long lasting effect.

If you spend a couple of hours to buy ingredients (some of which are rationed) you're not going to be inclined to experiment....

That said I do think most Polish people have fairly conservative tastes (looking at people's carts).
Crow 137 | 7,998
2 Feb 2020 #24
As far as lamb goes, most Poles have never tasted it.

Who didn`t taste lamb, he didn`t live.
kaprys 2 | 2,124
2 Feb 2020 #25
Just because something isn't seasoned with super hot spices doesn't mean it's bland.
Ever since I remember different sorts of seasoning has been used in traditional Polish cuisine both by grandma and mum: onions, garlic, allspice, bay leaf, marjoram, parsley, dill and so on.

It's also important to enrich the flavour of the dish with seasoning rather than just to make it disappear or to make everything taste the same. ..

As for trying different cuisines, I have always been into it and I love eating traditional food of the country I'm visiting.
DominicB - | 2,701
2 Feb 2020 #26
Most of the people who live in Poland bordering the Baltic Sea have no history of living near the sea at all. They were resettled there after WWII, mostly from former Polish territories now in Belarus and the Ukraine. Before the war, Poland only had a tiny stretch of seacoast near Gdańsk.

goat meat

Completely unavailable and unknown. Unlikely that you could get most Poles to even try it. Even beef consumption is limited. Much, much less popular than pork, which makes up 90% or more of non-poultry meat consumption.

As others have said, younger people are more adventurous and curious, especially those who have worked or vacationed abroad, or those who live in cities. The comparison to the UK or the US in the fifties is not quite right. More like the seventies or eighties, before the foodie revolution really took off.

Do you mean cząber? It's always been available or do you mean szałwia?

Szałwia.

But what kind of aromatic fish do you mean coz I can`t recall any now?

Parsing mistake. That should be: (Aromatic cheese) and (fish with a fuller flavor).
mafketis 23 | 7,827
2 Feb 2020 #27
Completely unavailable and unknown. Unlikely that you could get most Poles to even try it.

I think it may have been available on some farms (though the formerly large goat population mostly disappeared in the 20th century I've known a few people (back in the 1990s) who'd had goat and had liked it.

It can be found in Poland but not easily and it's even more expensive than lamb (I like goat meat a lot which is tough because I also like goats...)

On the other hand rabbit meat seems to have become more common in recent years (along with goose the tastiest of all poultry).

I used to sometimes buy nutria which is delicious (a bit like beef but more subtle and very tender) but the place that sold it close by closed.... and the building was torn down to put up a new apartment building....

kuchnia.wp.pl/kozina-czy-warto-po-nia-siegnac-6383344188860545a

Szałwia.

That's weird for food in Poland but szałwia tea has been around forever...
DominicB - | 2,701
2 Feb 2020 #28
Exactly why few Poles would add it to food. They think it tastes like "medicine", not "food".
Miloslaw 6 | 3,239
2 Feb 2020 #29
Brits don`t like their own cuisine and prefer to choose foreign ones.

This is true.
British food has a few gems and is pefectly edible, I think that Polish cuisine is on a par with British.
Maybe slightly better, but not much.
Look at North European cuisine.... Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Norway, Sweden. Finland, Estonia,Latvia, Lithuania, Poland.....bland, bland, bland......
Go to Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, Greece, Spain and Italy and it is more exciting cuisine..
mafketis 23 | 7,827
2 Feb 2020 #30
Maybe slightly better, but not much.

Much better, much, much better.


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