Few words about polish cuisine by Anna Gil
For me one of the most important parts of human being is food. Food can lighten your mood, provide energy for a long time and remind you of your home – a common taste of your childhood.
Gathering together to cook with your friends, and your friends’ friends is also a wonderful chance to meet new people, enjoy time with others and maybe sometimes pick up a girl or a boy.
Food also says a lot about ourselves: about our habits, culture, traditions, even our national history. Lots of people in Lisbon ask me about Polish Wódka and other national dishes, that’s why I made the list of “Top 10 dishes you need to try”. Hope you get hungry after reading it 😀
Polish breakfast is generally very big and we usually have it around an hour after we wake up. Most people can’t imagine leaving home without it.
I’ve got two propositions for you:
Whole-wheat or, more popular, white bread with butter, kiełbasa -Polish sausage , ogórek kiszony – Polish pickle and warzywna z majonezem – a vegetable salad with mayo.
Milk soup with rolled oats/pasta/egg noodles and bread with ham, cheese or cottage cheese and tomatoes.
Midday – it’s time for a late or, as we call it, a second breakfast – something light like a yogurt, some fruit or snacks.
Around 4 – 5 pm we’ve got a big dinner. It always includes 2 dishes. Firstly a soup – in Portugal I’ve got 365 recipes for preparing a cod – in Poland we’ve got at least 52 recipes for different kinds of soups: vegetable, fruit, mushroom, with meat, sweet, cold, hot, cream, thin… The most popular are zupa pomidorowa – tomato soup, rosół – chicken soup – on Polish table every Sunday, and for special occasions – żurek – a sour rye soup.
Main course usually consists of potatoes, a piece of meat -kotlet and salad.
On special occasion like: Christmas, Wedding, Name day our cuisine is much more elaborate. The traditional dishes are often demanding in preparation. Many Poles allow themselves a generous amount of time to serve and enjoy their festive meals, especially the Christmas Eve dinner (Wigilia) or Easter breakfast which could take a number of days to prepare in their entirety.
Bigos – traditional meat and cabbage stew
Pierogi – dumplings of unleavened dough
Gołąbki – boiled cabbage leaves wrapped around minced pork or beef, chopped onions, and rice
At around 6pm it’s a time for podwieczorek – something like a teatime in England. Polish women are great beakers. Our favorite cakes are szarlotka/ jabłecznik – apple pie and sernik – cheese cake.
And finally, supper – around 8-9 pm. On the table you can easily find the same products as for the Polish breakfast but the supper is not that big and “heavy”.
As a tidbit of news I can say that the typical Polish beverage is kompot – a drink made of fresh or sometimes dried fruit. Poles are famous for their “strong heads” – it’s true, we are used to drinking a strong 40% alcohol Wódka – mostly at house parties when we celebrate something. When we go out we usually drink Polish beer. We also know a lot of techniques of how to reduce hangover, for example: drink juice from pickles, or milk, eat scrambled eggs with fatty bacon, etc.