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Finding ingredients for traditional British Xmas dinner in Poland?

3 Nov 2013 #1
Hi, for the second year running I'm going to poland with my partner for Xmas. Obviously I'm gonna have the polish dinner on (my) Xmas eve. However, as a wee surprise for her family I'd like to cook a traditional Western Xmas dinner on Xmas day... I'm a trained chef by trade, known her family for over 6 years so family familiarity is a non issue, I just want to do something nice....and a good excuse to have a wee beer and some music to myself. Her dad and brothers can eat like horses too and they are good guys! Any suggestions on where I could find the usual turkey, root veg.. Gravy, sausagemeat. Produce.. ?? I'll be close to inowroclaw...?? All advice appreciated. Btw, so many anti-poles on a polish forum website!? I'm confused. Thanks guy in advance.
Wulkan - | 3,249
3 Nov 2013 #2
traditional Western Xmas dinner on Xmas day

what on earth is that? are you suggesting that every Western country has one type of Xmas dinner?
cms 9 | 1,271
3 Nov 2013 #3
Er...tesco or carrefour. Those are the big square things plonked on the edge of inowroclaw. They definitely have whole turkeys in bigger towns, but not sure about inowroclaw.

You might need to bring your gravy powder from home but there are plenty of local sustitutes - sos pieczony.

Check the size of your mother in laws oven before you embark on this ! Or you could deep fry your turkey alabama style !
Wulkan - | 3,249
3 Nov 2013 #4
Or you could deep fry your turkey alabama style !

considering he says "wee" he must be from Scotland
mochadot18 15 | 241
3 Nov 2013 #5
Hahaha just do it in a trash can
f stop 25 | 2,513
3 Nov 2013 #6
From what I observed in the US, the Christmas day dinner does not have any particular traditional dishes, unless someone sticks to their own ethnic customs. Usually though it's an over the top feast with as many main meat dishes as the hosts can jam the table with, like ham, roast beef and pork... if any poultry is served it's usually not turkey, as everyone is all turkey'd out from recent Thanksgiving; I've seen chicken, duck or geese.
jon357 67 | 16,921
3 Nov 2013 #7
Any suggestions on where I could find the usual turkey

Any big supermarket. Goose too if you prefer something more traditional.

root veg

They don't really have parsnips (pasternak) at all and most people in PL have never tasted them. There's something (pietruszka) that looks rather like them but tastes very different and is used differently - so if you want them, you'll have to bring them.


You're a trained chef and asking about gravy??!? There are packets of something called sos do pieczeni however it's intended for pork and rather bland in line with general tastes in PL. At a pinch, you could use it as a thickener but frankly home-made is just as easy as mucking about with a sachet of something. Skrobia kukurydziana is in every food shop and similar to cornflour - just don't use as much since it's much starchier. I've noticed by the way that Delia Smith's gravy recipe is cropping up on Polish recipe sites at the moment - British food is becoming quite fashionable now.


No - they have plenty of sausage, however it is very different. There's mięso garmażeryjne in all meat shops - you could add breadcrumbs and spices to it, to make a substitute (I've done this) however it isn't anything like the same. Stuffing isn't used much at all in PL but goes down well when you serve it.


Depends what you mean. Things like sprouts are easily available.

BTW, Yorkshire puddings always go down very well in PL.
kj99 8 | 54
3 Nov 2013 #8
nicely put .... there is always one aint there.
cjj - | 281
3 Nov 2013 #9
Turkey: some years they're easy to get, other years not. Last year I failed, year before that the local Tesco decided to sell them fresh but halved. (bizarre). Then, at Easter, I was tripping over fresh, bagged birds.

Ham: never seen it easily available, never bothered trying to hunt it down. Different cures, flavours here, anyway.
Cranberry sauce: ok
Potatoes: loads of choice, but the locals favour waxy varieties.
Suet: never managed to find that in the shops I frequent.
Carrots, parsnips, sprouts: ok.
Stuffing: you'll have the devil's job finding sage because here it's a medication type of herb. Bring your own, otherwise look for sage tea bags in a Pharmacy.

Bread sauce : home made only.
Cloves : you'll not find powder here though the cloves themselves (not sure what to call them ..) are easy to find.
Christmas puddings ... hand luggage. Unless there's a Marks and Spencers nearby. I would imagine brandy butter would go down well :)
jon357 67 | 16,921
3 Nov 2013 #10

Have you ever seen one in Poland?[/url]
Tastes totally different and not good for boiling or roasting like parsnips.
EdwardC 1 | 10
3 Nov 2013 #11
My plan is to do a medium-weight turkey (5-6 kilos) for Thanksgiving and the traditional Christmas ham for a few of my American and Polish friends. For thanksgiving, I just began looking at stuffing recipes on Friday. Dinner rolls shouldn't be a problem and I will go with baked apples as my second side. Still thinking about dessert but the visit to Carrefours will tell me whether I can do a pumpkin pie or not.

For Christmas, I'm planning on the traditional ham (but might fall back on turkey) that most Americans do if they keep the customs, along with stuffing, rolls, gravy (brown not giblet) and probably a pecan pie. America is somewhat regional in their eating traditions but it is pretty common to find potatoes which I'll probably mash and maybe some glazed carrots.

I'm more worried about the invitation list than the menu though.
cjj - | 281
3 Nov 2013 #12
Parsnips ...

I've no defendable

idea, to be honest. I've never liked them so haven't experimented ... Just as well, from what you say ... I truly hate parsley.

Otherwise, my main turkey problems are ...
Fitting it into my stove (my broiler element has just died ... Hurrah ... Good excuse to inhume it ...)
The strong likelihood the power goes off for several hours on Christmas morning .

Anyone know where I can buy Christmas crackers ??
jon357 67 | 16,921
3 Nov 2013 #13
Anyone know where I can buy Christmas crackers ??

Marks had them one year - not sure they're a regular thing.

As for parsnips, I'm not fond either. They're ok baked with Parmesan, but then again so is pretty well anything.

Re. the turkey size issue, a few places sell saddle of turkey (goose too, at a price) which is more oven friendly and means you don't have so much to use up. I don't like turkey and can't be bothered with all the goose grease so I just do the biggest chicken I can find.
TaiCat 1 | 30
3 Nov 2013 #14
there are no Christmas Puddings in Poland but you might consider silesian Moczka lol ;P
jon357 67 | 16,921
3 Nov 2013 #15
Thee are Xmas puddings in Poland - all branches of M&S have them. Not hard to make, but expensive, as is Xmas cake.
cjj - | 281
3 Nov 2013 #16
We've a Marks' about 20 down the road ... Their small christmas puddings are a life-saver as noone else in the house likes them. No idea where to source suet to make them myself ... or the energy.

Maybe this year it's time to make sherry trifle ....
jon357 67 | 16,921
4 Nov 2013 #17
No idea where to source suet to make them myself

The UK.

Paradoxically there's been a shortage of Beef Suet since Poland joined the EU - it's used industially in Kielbasa even though it isn't used domestically. Not sold retail though except perhaps for Kuchnie Swiata and Marks.

noone else in the house likes them.

You either love them or you hate them. I could eat them every day.

There are recipes for versions without suet though and a Christmas Pudding Ice Cream recipe that was doing the rounds about 20 years ago - should be online somewhere.
irishlodz 1 | 135
4 Nov 2013 #18
a good local butcher should have turkey pieces. got a quarter turkey last year myself with one leg bone in it. took that out and boiled with neck for gravy. rolled the meat. much nicer than a trad turkey as not dry. Anyway Selgros sell whole frozen turkeys all year around and they are as good as anywhere.

I have never found a proper Ham here. DIY only option.

Sausage meat with require DIY seasoning.

Marks is the easiest to get most things.

PS: for a good cider there is a new one on the market called Green Mill. Finally. Reasonable price and not loaded with sugar. Alma have it.
5 Nov 2013 #19
Don't forget has loads of items in the grocery section. They offer free shipping to Poland if you spend at least £25.
5 Nov 2013 #20
They offer free shipping to Poland if you spend at least £25.

Yes, but only on either goods that they sell themselves or on goods which they fulfil on behalf of other sellers (and in that case you have to order at least £25 worth of goods from each such seller; I found it cheaper to buy two teapots from the same seller which Amazon fulfils orders for and thus get the free shipping than it was to buy one teapot and pay for the shipping).
5 Nov 2013 #21
Harry, yes. Thanks for the clarification. Many times I am browsing Amazon and realize that what I wanted is only offered by a third-party and thus not eligible for the free shipping. Although Amazon themselves have plenty of British goodies and I'm planning my Christmas order for next week.

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