Polish Cuisine

"Ola" gives us a primer

When you think of Poland, three things probably come to your mind: pierogi, Polish vodka, and Lewandowski*. I know these things are very popular, but today I want to tell you some more about Polish food. Traditional Polish cuisine isn’t very fit, but it tastes delicious! It’s because all recipes are inherited through generations and preparing some of them can take quite a long time.

As I said, you probably know what pierogis are but if you don’t, I’d like to tell you.
Pierogi “ruskie” (my favorite) are dumplings filled with potato, white cheese, and fried onions. Usually, they are served with additional chopped fried onion on the top. You can also find pierogis filled with meat and vegetables, sauerkraut and mushrooms, and berries.

The second dish, kopytka, is a kind of Polish gnocchi. The only difference is the shape (they look like a horse’s hoof, which is “kopyto” in the Polish language). Kopytka are often eaten plain, with butter and sugar, or with meat sauce.

The next dish is a Polish staple. Rosół (pronounced ruh-soo) is a rich liquid made of water in which bones, meat, and vegetables cook. The ingredients are very fresh, and everything is made from scratch—no cans allowed. Rosół in my home is made with homemade pasta and is served for dinner every Sunday.

Gołąbki (pronounced goh-wom-kee), better known in English as stuffed cabbage, is made from boiled cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling of minced pork or beef, chopped onions, and rice. On top of gołąbki, you usually find tomato sauce. If you're not a fan of cabbage, take a trip to Poland and prepare to be converted. There are a million variations that will make your taste buds and your belly very happy.

Another cabbage dish is bigos, a kind of like Polish hunter’s stew. It’s made of fried and stewed fresh cabbage, sauerkraut, assorted meats (kielbasa, bacon, and stewed pork is the best combo), and mushrooms. It is served hot and can be enriched with vegetables, spices, or wine.

Ready for something sweet? Polish doughnuts called pączki (pronounced pOHnch-kee) are usually glazed with icing sugar and filled with different types of jam. The most common ones are filled with rose jam and pudding. They are absolutely delicious and cannot be missed! In Poland, we also have a special day called “Tłusty czwartek” (Fat Thursday), and it’s a holiday during which the goal of every Pole is to eat as many pączki as possible!

The list of traditional Polish dishes is long. Therefore, I couldn’t include all of them here. I think that the dishes mentioned are a great start for discovering polish cuisine.

–Aleksandra (FLEX, Poland), Virtual Program



*For our non-soccer fans, Robert Lewandowski was the 2019/20 UEFA Men's Player of the Year.