Cooking with Maciej

On the menu today: pierogis

Polish cuisine has evolved over the centuries due to Polish history and the influence of different nationalities that have lived in Poland. Some of the most important ingredients are meat—like pork, chicken, or beef—and vegetables, spices, and herbs. In general, our cuisine is hearty and heavy in its use of butter, cream, and eggs.

Many people from other countries see Polish cuisine as hard to recreate. That may be true because of the tradition of recipes being passed down through generations. Every family modifies them in their unique way.

We have two special occasions when food unites us. Christmas Eve supper and Easter breakfast take a number of days to prepare in their entirety. The Christmas Eve tradition obliges us to have twelve main dishes like barszcz (red beetroot soup), pierogi, zupa grzybowa (mushroom soup), fish soup, fried carp, and makówki (poppy seed cake).

The Christmas Eve tradition obliges us to have twelve main dishes.

For Easter breakfast we serve eggs, horseradish, white sausage, and żurek (sour rye soup). Not as important but also a delightful event is Fat Thursday when we all eat filled doughnuts called “pączki”. Thanks to the major part that food plays in our society, we greatly enjoy our time spent with family and friends.

To sum up, the Polish kitchen has always been a cheerful place full of memories and tasty dishes, so it is one of the biggest parts of Polish culture. This is a topic that can be discussed for hours and everybody has their own approach.

–Maciej (FLEX, Poland), Virtual Program