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Traditional and lesser known foods of Poland

10 Jul 2007 #1
If you want to try traditional Polish food, stop counting your calories. Polish cuisine is a complex mix of foreign culinary traditions: Russian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Jewish and German to name but a few. It 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 in the home, God in the home". So what makes Polish cuisine so unique?

Any good meal starts with soup and Poland is famous for having as wide a choice 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 kasza. 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 meat.

For those who don't eat meat Poland offers a large variety of vegetarian dishes. Besides widely known pierogi - very traditional small dumplings filled with sauerkraut and mushrooms, cottage cheese and potatoes or seasonably fruit, 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 kopytka- dumplings in a hoof shape can be served. Apart from that, very popular and mouth- watering are placki ziemniaczane - basically 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 (Quark) 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.

If you're not hungry yet, go and sample some authentic Polish food to discover how delicious it is. Just a word of caution though: you will most likely add a few extra pounds. I will finish by quoting a famous Polish saying: "Jedzcie, pijcie i popuszczajcie pasa" (Eat, drink and loosen your belt).

10 Jul 2007 #2
faworki - pastry twisters

Are those the same as the powdered sugar buttefly twists?
I've made those before from egg roll skins. It's a lot easier than making your own pastry from scratch.
OP Kamila_2
10 Jul 2007 #3
Are those the same as the powdered sugar buttefly twists?

Yes, they are! :)
10 Jul 2007 #4
The Polish Bazaar in Los Angeles is where I was first introduced to the butterfly twists.
None of my relatives seem to know how to make them. I need to find a good recipe, because mine seem to turn out a little greasy.
17 Jul 2007 #6
I love my mum's Wigilia meal, which includes barszcz z uszkami, pierogi, fish, and kompot.

Well worth waiting a year for (or, to be more accurate, worth waiting two years for, as I had to work nights last Christmas :( )
31 Jul 2007 #7
Every Polish family has their own recipie for faworki (among other things) and each says theirs is the best.
1 Aug 2007 #8
How about Florentinki (sp)? Has anyone ever tried this sweetness?
18 Jan 2010 #9
'czarnina' is known across Poland. Board of health regulations now prevent the sale of blood in butcher shops, so only those who raise their own poultry or know someone who does can regularly enjoy the soup.
Honest George
18 Jan 2010 #10
kotlet schabowy - a pork cutlet coated in breadcrumbs

Otherwise known as a " pork chop ".

kaszanka - Polish blood sausage made with kasza

Made with kasza ? ......... " buckwheat ".
Kaszanka = " Black-pudding ".

kielbasa- excellent smoked meat

Smoked sausage.

naleśniki - pancakes stuffed with jam

Thats special ! Courdon bleu ?

'czarnina' is known across Poland. Board of health regulations now prevent the sale of blood in butcher shops, so only those who raise their own poultry or know someone who does can regularly enjoy the soup.

I heard " Castle Dracula ", down south, do a good deal on the stuff.
18 Jan 2010 #11
Otherwise known as a " pork chop ".

And a particularly bland and flavourless type of chop at that.
18 Jan 2010 #13
Called black pudding, made of blood, fat & offal, tastes marvellous cut up and fried. Try blood pudding/sausage/polser in with some baked beans. Skin the sausage first. The sausage should gradually dissolve as the fat melts leaving you with a dark brown crusty glop, with lumps in it. It tastes great on buttered toast. I usually add a drop of milk, and a little cheese at the end of cooking .Yum Yum!!!! We love such food in Poland :)

21 Jan 2010 #14
Can anyone tell me a good Gółąbki recipe? or a pierogi one too.
21 Jan 2010 #15
·4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
·1/3 cup milk
·2 tbsp butter or margarine
·2 tbsp chopped onion
·1 tsp salt, divided
·1/2 tsp ground pepper, divided
·2 3/4 cup flour
·1 cup light sour cream
·1 egg
·1 egg yolk
·1 tbso oil
27 Sep 2010 #16
£azanki is not that known but I wonder why
28 Sep 2010 #17
Here is what I found on £azanki and why it's not readilly known:
"Lazanki arrived in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in mid-16th century when Bona Sforza, Italian wife of King Sigmund the Old, brought high Italian cuisine to the country. Unlike most Italian dishes in these parts of Europe, lazanki has survived into the 21st century, although the long and cultural history of the dish has been largely forgotten. Stiff wheat, rye or buckwheat dough, rolled thin and cut into triangles or rectangles, is boiled, drained, and eaten with melted pork fat, vegetable oil, or sour cream. In Poland, they are often mixed with cabbage or sauerkraut and small bits of sausage, meat and/or mushrooms."

Hope this answers your question.
28 Sep 2010 #18
Thanks for the info, polkamaniac. I knew about it but I was wondering why it isn't that popular as a dish. It obviously has an Italian core influence with a Polish twist. I like it, it's really good a while before a workout for energy. Not that I work out, mind ;)
17 Aug 2012 #19
I like Polish Beef Tripe Soup - Flaczki.
21 Jul 2020 #20
Thanks, Kamila! I wonder do Poles eat cooked fish (I know about fermented, fish jelly etc)? Is it more eaten along the Baltic coast or along the rivers and lakes? Only on Xmas? Here we prepare carp with breadcrumbs (Galeta) at any time but usually after Christmas on St Nicolas day. Carp is heavy but I love it. I wonder if there are PL variants of the (in)famous Treska salad in Slovakia (a traditional Slovak salad made with a combination of cod, mayonnaise, onions, carrots, vinegar, mustard, and seasonings). I basically eat only that and bryndzove halušky. Speaking of which is there sth similar in Poland (potato dumplings, cheese and słanina)?
22 Jul 2020 #21
I wonder do Poles eat cooked fish

Yes, a lot, but not so much as nations surrounded by waters like Brits/Jaspanese etc.

Treska salad in Slovakia (a traditional Slovak salad made with a combination of cod, mayonnaise, onions, carrots, vinegar, mustard,

Cod is difficult to handle in salads coz it tends to break apart. Poles prefer more solid fish like herring .

Herring ala Japanese, my favourite, with egg halves:

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