Food & cuisin

Polish cuisine has been influenced by many different cultures. Funnily enough, some common dishes from Germany, Russia, Hungary and France can be found on the Polish menu and are considered here typical Polish.

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Meat dominates most of the Polish cuisine, but also special kinds of noodles are quite often as well. Probably the most famous Polish dish is called Bigos, which is based on boiled cabbage and different kinds of meat (pork, sausages) as well as mushrooms, prunes and a drop of wine. It is often said, the longer you boil the bigos the better it gets. It’s quite common to cook it for many hours and eat it even after a couple of days. Therefore you cannot order it in any restaurant, as the EU rules forbid serving in public restaurants re-cooked dishes.

PierogiAnother famous Polish dish is Pierogi, which is nothing else as dumplings. They come in different varities, so you will find pierogi filled with cabbage and pork meat, cottage cheese, mushrooms, etc. Pierogi are very popular during Christmas and are prepared at home including making the dough.

Polish cuisine offers many different variations of duck, chicken, turkey and meat of course. Kotlety mielone which are grown version of famous meat balls found its place on the Polish table as well.

French influence has found its reflection in one of the favourite Polish dishs - nalesniki, which is very similar to a French crepé. 

Traditional Polish lunch (obiad) starts at around 14.00 and contains of at least 3 courses. It is the most important meal of the day. Usually a soup is served as a starter, which can be a chicken bouillon with noodles or tomato soup. More festive variation would be zurek or barszcz. Main course is typically a piece of meat, potatos and some kind of vegatables or salad. In Poland salads are eaten as part of the main course not before as a starter. During a Polish lunch no desert can be forgotten. Polish cuisine is rich in cakes i.e. cheesecakes, poppy cakes, apple pies etc. Very common are also paczki – doughnuts filled with marmelade, which are the most popular and eaten in great amounts during the Fat Thursday. It is so popular to consume paczki at this day, that the most famous bakeries create reservation lists, so if you don't order your cakes on time, you risk not having any. Funnily enough the original recipe for doghnuts were salty and vary hard. It wasn't until later when the sugar was added to create this delicious calorie bomb. Nowadays one paczek can contain up to 400 kcal. Polish paczki (fot. Kpalion)

Typical Polish dinner, which is served at around 18.00, consist usually of sandwiches and cold meat and sausages. Very seldom an evening meal is served warm. The time of the dinner and lunch changes during week days, especially because of late working hours. Weekends however most Poles try to keep this early dinner tradition.

If you happen to be invited to any Polish household for a meal, you can expect very festive atmosphere. The old Polish say: guest at home, God at home, explains a lot how well guests are treated here. Polish hospitality is well known all over the world. You can expect white table cloth, nice porcelain that is kept only for special occasions and a table full of many different dishes. You might be served wine to accompany the dinner, but vodka is also quite common especially when the dishes are fatty.

On the other hand vodka is also used as a digestive. When you happen to have stomach problems, try a shot of vodka with ground black pepper - that's a traditional Polish medicine!