Food takes a pretty special place in people’s lives. And that applies to everyone, not just Poles. In this section, we will describe a few well-known dishes to give you an idea of what you can (and should) try while visiting or living in Poland.
We will start our little journey with one of the most famous polish dishes – pierogi. It seems like they are better known around the world than the location of Poland itself (they are stuffed dumplings if you didn\’t already know!). Pierogi are served in a variety of flavours thanks to different kinds of filling inside the dough. The most common ones are the ones with cabbage & wild mushroom, meat and potato & white cheese filling. As well as in some regions of Poland you can try pierogi with fruits like forest fruits, strawberries or cherries served with cream and sugar. It is no exaggeration to say that when it comes to pierogi the limits are where your imagination finishes. In some modern restaurants, pierogi are taken to the next level and filled with truffles or caviar. It is just up to you which ones you are going to try.
In Poland, traditionally, the soup was served as a first dish before the main. Polish soups are very filling and substantial so you can easily have them on their own and feel full most of the day. We suggest you definitely try żurek – a popular sour soup with pieces of sausage, potatoes and eggs served in a bread bowl that you can eat as well. It doesn’t get more environmentally friendly than that!
Another interesting soup is barsh, soup made from beetroots. There are a few different types of barsh, but the most popular are two types: beetroot soup as a bullion and barsh with plenty of vegetables, potatoes and beans. Both are great and very healthy. If you want to, you can try to cook one at home – here you can find a recipe for real polish beetroot soup.
POLISH MAIN DISHES
One of the most surprising dishes for foreigners is bigos (hunter\’s stew). It is made from cabbage, sauerkraut and meat, and anything else that you can find in the fridge like the leftovers after roast dinner, sausages and ham. Depending on the region different vegetables are added, sometimes wine. It should be cooked for hours and it tastes even better the next day. Some really old recipes suggest to cook it for 7 days before eating. The idea of bigos may sound pretty off-putting to you but any polish person will tell you that it is extremely delicious and we think it is worthy of listening to them (in this case!).
Another interesting dish is called gołąbki. Literally, the name means pigeons but don’t worry, it doesn’t have any pigeon in it! Gołąbki (pronounced gowambkee) are made with pork or beef mince and rice wrapped in cabbage leaves. They are served with potatoes and a tomato sauce. There are a few vegetarian variations of this dish that instead of meat use bulgur and wild mushroom or potatoes and white cheese (yes, that is a polish favourite, something like baked beans for Brits).
The most typical Sunday dinner consists of a pork chop (called schabowy), potatoes and some salad. It is great because making pork chops requires hitting the meat and that allows polish people to take out all the anger they have and as well do some exercise. And after all that it tastes great.
There are many ways of exploring other countries, but one of the most pleasant ways is to eat the traditional food. You can try to make dishes we described at home with help of our recipes section or go out and enjoy what restaurants have to offer. One thing we can tell you for sure, Polish cuisine is pretty much like pierogi – at first, it doesn’t seem very special but when you try it you can’t get enough.