Polish cuisine in many ways resembles Russian and Ukrainian. It has a wide variety of salads, soups and cold appetizers, meat dishes. It is characterized by dishes with a clear taste. They can be salty, sweet or sour. It is impossible to convey the Polish style without using some of these components: sauerkraut, vegetables, fruits and fresh or dried mushrooms, meat.
Poland is famous for its very tasty smoked meats, especially sausages, which are highly valued all over the world. Sausages are made according to old recipes, using traditional methods of smoke-smoking juniper twigs or fragrant fruit trees. Perfectly prepared ham of different varieties, smoked meat rolls, balyk and brisket enjoy no less success. It is also worth remembering the wonderful pâtés made from different types of meat, including game.
According to TOP-MEDICAL-SCHOOLS, Poland also specializes in bread baking. Black rye bread made from wholemeal flour is especially good. In addition to its wonderful taste, it is also very healthy and is included in the list of dietary foods.
No Polish dinner is complete without a first course. Traditional soups include red beet borscht – a pure beet broth with spices, served with the so-called “ears”, that is, small dumplings with mushroom or bean mince. Very tasty soup is “zhur” (or zhurek) on kvass from wholemeal flour. Žurek is often cooked with mushrooms and is usually served with boiled potatoes, diced smoked meats and a hard-boiled egg. Mushroom soup with noodles seasoned with sour cream is highly valued. Other popular soups are: cabbage soup, krupnik, as well as potato or tomato. Particularly noteworthy is a clear broth made from poultry or beef, with pasta, thickly sprinkled with herbs.
Meat is prepared in various ways: baked, stewed, fried in a pan or grilled. Meat dishes are served hot – with delicious sauces, which are innumerable in Polish cuisine, or as cold appetizers – with mustard, horseradish, pickled mushrooms or pickles.
A classic meat dish is breaded pork chop with potatoes and cabbage. The baked pork belly stuffed with prunes is also exceptionally tasty. Baked and boiled pork shank, lard – melted pork fat with cracklings, pieces of meat, smoked meats, onions and garlic, with the addition of salt, pepper, and aromatic herbs, as well as “kashanka” – a variety of blood sausages. Kashanka was once considered a typical rural homemade dish, today it is served as a delicacy in the best restaurants with traditional Polish cuisine.
One of the most delicious meat dishes is zrazy, rolled up from pieces of beef with a variety of fillings, including pickles. Usually zrazy is served with buckwheat or barley porridge. It is impossible not to mention the Krakow-style stewed duck with mushrooms, which is served with porridge as a side dish. As a festive dish, a pig is prepared, baked whole and stuffed with buckwheat porridge with hot spices.
Polish fish dishes are very tasty. They are prepared from eel, perch, carp, sturgeon, sea fish. Fish can be cooked in a variety of ways: fried, steamed, boiled, fried in breadcrumbs and served with a variety of delicious fillings such as sauces and condiments. Carp is especially popular and is included in various dishes, both on its own and in various sauces, such as Polish sauce with raisins and almonds.
Polish cuisine is hard to imagine without dumplings with minced meat, or cabbage with mushrooms, as well as with cottage cheese or fruit filling. But dumplings, which in Poland are called “Russian” (with minced meat from cottage cheese, potatoes and fried onions), are especially popular. Pancakes, stuffed “pyzy” and dumplings are also successful among flour dishes.
The national Polish dish is “bigos” made from stewed sauerkraut and fresh white cabbage with the addition of various types of meat, smoked meats and mushrooms. A good word must also be said about cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice or porridge. Stuffed cabbage is abundantly poured with tomato or mushroom sauce.
The most favorite Polish snack is herring, prepared in various ways, for example, with onions, apples and sour cream.
Traditional Polish desserts include sweet pies, most often yeast pies, as well as various rolls with poppy seeds, raisins, nuts and dried fruits, mazurkas, apple pies, curd pies and gingerbread. One of the favorite Polish delicacies is donuts stuffed with wild rose marmalade.
The most typical Polish alcoholic drink is vodka of different varieties, infused with different types of herbs. The most original vodkas include bison, into which grass stalks from Belovezhskaya Pushcha are dipped, which are eaten by bison. In turn, the Gdansk Goldwasser vodka is enriched with grains of 22-carat gold. Poland will not disappoint beer lovers either: Polish beer is of the same excellent quality as German or Czech, and breweries in cities such as Zywiec, Warka or Elbląg have centuries-old traditions in making this drink. In cold weather, Poles willingly drink warmed beer or wine with the addition of honey and spices from fragrant roots. Of the stronger alcoholic drinks, fruit liqueurs or herbal tinctures are noteworthy. Their choice in Poland is very large: from medicinal and warming liqueurs and tinctures to strong drinks, which are used solely for taste. Do not ignore liqueurs, drinking honey or any of the creamy cocktails with the addition of alcohol, made from egg yolks, vanilla or chocolate. These creams are also used in the preparation of various desserts.