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Poland - Cooking and Food Edit


Palac Kultury in Poland

Overview of Polish Cuisine History Edit

The diversity that characterizes the Polish cuisine takes us back to a long and tumultuous history of Poland. The Slavic background of the modern Polish cuisine was elegantly mixed and balanced with foreign influences. The different and distinct regions of Poland also play their part in creating the diverse national Polish cuisine. The famous pierogi (dumplings) are representative for Poland and its culinary tradition. This particular cuisine uses a large variety of ingredients, ranging from meat products to noodles and herbs. As with most cuisines in the central and eastern European areas, cereals are at the basis of the Polish diet. The history of Polish cuisine was also influenced by Turkish, Hungarian, French, German cuisines. In some regions also Spanish and Dutch influences dating back to Middle Ages can be found (cf. Gdańsk). Even if beer and vodka are commonly thought to be the most most popular beverages, Spanish and French wines were commonly imported from Reinassance on. Aprat from beer, meed (honey-based beverage) has been traditionally the most common drink and this feature of Polish cuisine is shared with scandinavian and germanic cuisines. There is also an extremely rich tradition of preparing various fruit cordials in Poland. They include cherry cordials, cordials based on different types of berries and even acorn cordial. Centuries ago Polish kings also brought numerous cooks from various countries to organize feasts and banquets. The cooking style of these foreign chefs was adopted in several areas of Poland. Italian and French influences were noticeable starting from 1518 when queen Bona Sforza, the 2nd wife of Sigismund I The Old of Poland introduced foreign chefs to the Polish cuisine. Gradually maize and Wheat were replaced by potatoes as one of the main elements of the Polish diet and coffee became popular because of the numerous interactions with the Ottoman Empire.

Cuisines of Poland Edit

Map of Poland

Map of Poland - Click to enlarge

By Geographic Area and Style:

The cuisines of Poland can be categorized in several distinct groups, mainly formed and determined by geographical location.

Galicja Edit

Galicja has traditional dishes like:

Kresy Edit

This region cuisine consists of different dishes, such as the:

Podlasie Edit

Polish cuisine traditional dishes:

North of Poland Edit

This region offers the national Polish cuisine the delicious yet high fat szpekucha.

Masovia Edit

This region has different local specialties, such as the

Masuria Edit

Famous for the dish called kartacz.

Pomerania Edit

Known all over Poland for pierniki – a gingerbread that makes the delight of kids and those young at heart.

Silesia Edit

Offers several nationally appreciated dishes, such as these:

Tatra Mountains Edit

The two most popular dishes are kwaśnica and oscypek.

Polish Food Glossary Edit

Finding the ingredients for a Polish Recipe is not so easy when you do not know the names of the ingredients. Take time to make a list of ingredients and the name they may be found under at the Local Markets.

Preparation Methods for Polish Cooking Edit

Polish cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Polish cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Polish cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Poland is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to the Polish cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Poland’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Polish dishes and cured and smoked hams, poultry, Pork and Beef fillets, and bacons are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Polish Cooking Edit

Most Polish dishes don’t require you to purchase any special tools. However, having a coffee grinder helps with roasting and grinding spices and maximizes their volatile oils, which, in turn, provides your food with more flavor. Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishers & portioners, food pans & food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets & accessories, the Polish cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Polish dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come handy while cooking Polish food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups & measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers & strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal".

Polish Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

One of the most interesting Polish traditions is related to Swieconka - baskets containing a sampling of Easter food are brought to church to be blessed. The baskets are beautifully decorated and Poles go through a lot of trouble to ornate them the best way they can. In some rural communities the priest visits the home to bless the foods.

Christmas is another festival where food becomes an important element of the traditional celebrations. The period between Christmas and the New Year is usually dominated by copious amounts of food, carefully prepared by Poles in order to celebrate the festive atmosphere.

Harvest Holiday, August 15 (Dozynki) The symbol of Dozynki was a Wieniec,which was presented to the landowner. This large wreath was made of a mixture of Wheat and Rye. Crafted from the most beautiful ears of grain, the Dozynki wreath was made in the shape of a dome-shaped crown and wearing it was considered an honor.

People in Polish Food Edit

  • Are you into Polish Cooking and would like to be interviewed?

There are many chefs who creatively use the basic ingredients and cooking method for traditional Polish dishes and create original and delicious food variations. Polish chefs are passionate about their traditional dishes and they enjoy presenting them to foreigners who have never tasted them before. Whether they are cooking Barszcz or red beet soup, served with stuffed dumplings or more sophisticated Polish dishes, such as the delicious Duck filled with apples, Polish chefs take pride in what they do, and this is readily noticeable in the unforgettable taste of their cooking.

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