The food may of course seem simple, but who will not agree that simplicity is characteristic of genius. This ingenuity is shown maybe not so much in the richness of ingredients used to prepare a dish, rather it is the number of dishes a typical Polish course consists of.
Such a culinary diversity is really hard to find elswhere. Usually, for the start we are served a platter of cold meats. The most well-known among these are for sure sausages. Every region has got something it can be proud of. And so, Krakovska dry sausage and juniper-smoked Hunter’s sausage come across as the very best here. Also hams, mainly the pork ham is regarded as a Polish speciality.
Polish national cuisine is made up of two parts. The first is the so-called traditional Polish cuisine which comprises the following:
– Cold meats and Sausages. These are truly Polish specialities. People from all over the world appreciate their unique taste achieved thanks to the compliance with the traditional recipes and the old methods of smoking in the juniper or aromatic fruit tree smoke.
– Bread. Excellent brown wholemeal bread is another Polish speciality. It’s not just the taste – it’s the way to a healthy life that is becoming more and more popular world-wide.
– Soup. Soup is a traditional dinner course. Borsch for ages has been number one in this category. It’s made of beetroots, served either with little dumplings stuffed with wild mushrooms or with bean. Żurek is a tasty soup as well. It’s prepared from fermented rye flour cooked with wild mushrooms and served with potatoes, cube-cut cold meat and hard-boiled eggs.
– Meat. It may be prepared in many ways, such as roasted, stewed, fried, or grilled. It’s served warm – with many delicious sauces as well as cool – with horseradish, mustard or pickles. A battered pork chop with potatoes and cabbage is a classic example of meat course. Also roasted pork with prunes tastes terrific. Very good in taste is a Cracow-style duck stewed with wild mushrooms and served with groats.
– Pierogi. This dish has got many version
s – stuffed with meat, cabbage with mushrooms, and with cheese or fruits. Probably most popular are Russian or „ruskie” pierogi.
– Bigos and Gołąbki. Hunter’s stew or „bigos” is considered a national Polish dish. It’s a kind of magic, as the song has it, how it’s made – you just throw all of the leftovers you’ ve got adding cabbage or sauerkraut that is its main ingredient, and voila! You can eat. As for gołąbki, these are rolled up cabbage leaves stuffed with mixed rice and minced meat.
– Herring. A starter served on Polish table since time immemorial. Prepared in many ways, e.g. with onion, grated apple and cream.
– Cakes. Raised cakes and also various roll, apple, cheese and gingerbread cakes belong to the traditional Polish desserts.
– Vodka, Beer and Mead. Clear vodka surely is a Polish speciality, however, flavoured vodkas are by no means less appreciated. Also Polish beer is another sought-after drink not only in Poland, but very often abroad too. Mead is another historical drink here. It used to be produced from honey – hence the name mead, which is related to Polish „miód”. Now it tastes a bit more like a sweet white wine.
The second part is the regional cuisine. Its most important elements include:
– The Silesian Cuisine. Majority of the dishes is based on potatoes. Most famous here are perhaps dark kluski or unstuffed dumplings made of both cooked and raw mashed potatos. These go perfectly with a meat roll made of beef and stuffed with mustard, chopped bacon, salty pickled cucumber and red cabbage.
– Great Poland Cuisine. For most parts, it’s like the Silesian one. Gourmets will like here the so-called „kartacze” – kluski but stuffed with meat, mushrooms or mushrooms with cabbage.
– The Beskidy Cuisine. Pork hock stewed in beer with vegetables is the landmark of the region.
– Highlander Cuisine. This one would be hard to imagine without cheese like oscypek or bryndza, and dishes made of lamb.
– The Galician Cuisine. It’s strongly embedded in the Austrian quisine, especially its Vienna type.
– Mazovian Cuisine. This is a hotchpotch of German, Russian and Polish culinary traditions.
– The Eastern Borderlands Cuisine. Its comes mainly from Lviv, and kulebiak made of yeast dough stuffed with cabbage, boiled rice, eggs and fish is the main dish here.