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Food & Drink in Poland

Food & Drink in Poland

Polish cuisine is heavily influenced by the culinary traditions of the many populations that have lived in the country for centuries, such as Jews, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Lithuanians. But there are also Italian and French influences. After the fall of communism in 1989, Polish cuisine started to renew itself. Reputable chefs, while sticking to Polish dishes, are now making them lighter and less fat. In Warsaw and other major cities there are now also numerous restaurants serving vegetarian, oriental and other exotic dishes. Lovers of a simple snack can choose from fresh burgers, sandwiches, falafels and kebabs.

Special dishes in Poland

Every meal starts with soup. The most popular is undoubtedly barszcz, beetroot soup with beans, boiled potato or stuffed pasta. Pomidorowa is very tasty, a soup made from fresh tomatoes with noodles or rice, sour cream and dill.

Poland's national dish is bigos (literally: hunters' stew) which is a mix of sliced ​​white cabbage, sauerkraut and mushrooms with various meats. The meat varies from pork (often smoked), ham, bacon, beef, veal, sausage to game.

Pierogi is also typically Polish. It resembles ravioli but the content of the filling varies quite a bit. You have the savory pierogi that are filled with white cabbage, sauerkraut, mushrooms, spinach, lentils, pieces of beef and fried onions. The sweet pierogi contains a filling of sweet cheese, fruit, yogurt, etc.

Popular Polish desserts include: szarlotka (apple pie) which is often served with ice cream or whipped cream and sernik (cheesecake). During Carnival and especially on 'Fat Thursday' (the last Thursday before Lent) it is customary to eat paczek. These Polish donuts are filled with rose hip jam or other sweets.

In Podhale, the region around Zakopane, smazony oscypek, grilled sheep's cheese, is traditionally eaten. This cheese is served with cranberry sauce and tastes very salty.

Where can you eat traditionally in Poland?

Just like in any European city, the streets in Poland are no longer defined solely by traditional restaurants. Well-known chains have also found their way in Poland and international cuisine is also abundant. Still, finding a traditional Polish restaurant is not like looking for a needle in a haystack. The Poles also like to eat their 'own' food outside the door. The Polish word for restaurant is Restauracja, but you can also eat on occasions where Zajazd or Karczma occurs. A Karczma is often a combination of a restaurant and an inn. Eating in Poland doesn't have to be expensive. Your main course is usually between 20 and 40 zloty.

Drinking in Poland

In Poland, a lot of tea (herbata) and coffee (kawa) are drunk. Coffee is often with milk as with cappuccino. Beer is plentiful and in many varieties. Wine is also readily available and usually comes from Hungary. Mead is homegrown, the honey wine, which was drunk for centuries at the royal courts, in the houses of the nobility and wealthy citizens and in the monasteries. The national drink is vodka. The Zubrowka (Bison vodka) brand is well-known, which owes its taste to the use of bison grass, a herb from a national park in eastern Poland. Thanks to the presence of a large number of spas, Poland has a large number of mineral water producers. It is often mixed with fresh fruit juice. Popular is black currant drink. Strawberry and apple are also favorite flavors.

Beer from Poland

Beer brewers were among the first to take advantage of Poland's transformation into a free market economy in 1989. The result was an unprecedented improvement in the quality of Polish beer, which in Poland mainly includes lager. It has also expanded the number of brands, including some regional and some "boutique" brands. the most popular beers in Poland are Zywiec, Jubr, Warka, Tyskie and Okocim. Polish beer labels show two percentages; the low percentage usually represents the alcohol content, while the high percentage indicates the strength of the extract used. A small beer, no, a beer because each bottle or can has a capacity of 500 ml.

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Published 22-09-2021 / Copyright © B&B Emarik