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Traditional Polish Food

Updated on January 11, 2011

Polish traditional food is a caloric bomb, but it is surely worth a try. The basic ingredients used in Polish cuisine are sauerkraut, beetroot, cucumbers, sour cream, kohlrabi, mushrooms, different types of sausages. Dishes owe their unique taste properly selected spices such as marjoram, dill, cumin, parsley and pepper. Among the sweets reign cakes and cookies. For a typical Polish meal a glass of vodka is suggested to facilitate digestion.

huntsman's sausage
huntsman's sausage

Meats and sausages

Tasty meats, especially sausages, are true Polish specialities. They are valued worldwide for using traditional recipes and ancient methods of smoking in the smoke of juniper or aromatic fruit trees. One should try huntsman's sausage flavoured with juniper fruit or Lisiecka sausage flavoured with garlic. No less popular are well prepared hams with a delicate taste, smoked hams, loins and bacons. Excellent pates from different species of meat, including venison, are worth a try too.


Polish speciality is the excellent bread: rye wholemeal bread. Beside tasting delicious, it is the basis for many diets. Dark rye bread is darker and contains more fiber and minerals than white bread.It is so because it contains a larger share of particles from the grain husks, in which accumulate those components.


The traditional Polish dinner dish is soup. For centuries one of the most popular soups is red borsch - a clear soup based on broth with beets, served with ravioli - little dumplings stuffed with mushrooms or beans. Equally delicious soup is "żurek" based on sourdough with wholemeal flour, cooked with mushrooms and served with potatoes, sliced ham and hard-boiled eggs. Valued delicacy is wild mushrooms soup enriched with cream and served with tiny dumplings. Other popular soups include cabbage soup, barley soup and tomato soup. Worth of the separate note is consommé called "rosół" - a clear broth with poultry or beef, served with pasta, sprinkled with plenty of greens.



It can be prepared in many different ways: roasted, stewed, fried and grilled. It is served either hot - with a variety of tasty sauces, or cold - with mustard, horseradish, pickled mushrooms, pickled cucumbers. A classic meat dish is pork chops in batter, served with potatoes and cabbage. Excellent is baked pork chop, stuffed with dried plums. Some of the popular pork dishes are roasted or boiled porkshanks and black pudding. The black pudding formerly belonged to the canon of country food, today it is served in the best restaurants. The same applies to lard - pork fat, melted with pork scratchings, pieces of meat, sausage, onion and garlic, seasoned salt, pepper and often with aromatic herbs. One of the tastiest beef dishes are wrapped grafts, stuffed with pickled cucumber, served with grits. Very tasty dish is Cracow duck stewed with mushrooms, also served with grits. On special occasions entire roasted suckling, stuffed with spicy buckwheat, is served.


Polish cuisine is famous for its excellent pierogi (dumplings) stuffed with meat, sauerkraut and mushrooms, cheese or fruits. Particularly popular are Russian dumplings (stuffed with cheese, potatoes and fried onions).


Bigos is a Polish national dish. It's prepared from sauerkraut and boiled cabbage with addition of  different meats and fungi. Bigos should be stewed as long as possible (the longer the better), preferably a few days. During stewing it can be watered with dry red wine, which greatly increases the taste of the dish.


Herring has always appeared on Polish table as an appetizer. It is prepared in many ways, ie. with onion, grated apple and cream.

There are many other meals, each region of Poland has its own cuisine, so it's not possible to collect them all in one article. I encourage you to do further research on Polish food, as cuisine of Poland is a real treasury of many different and unique flavours.


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    • nailinthehead profile image

      nailinthehead 7 years ago from Poland

      Yeah, traditional Polish food is often salty or sour, never spicy. Spices are rather mild and they are only supplementing the taste of the food, not defining it. I see you're from India so I guess it might be an interesting experience for you as both cuisines are completely different :)

    • sriparna profile image

      Sriparna 7 years ago from New Delhi

      Very interesting hub, a lot was shared about traditional Polish food, would love to visit and try these some day! Not much opportunity to try Polish food around my place, thanks for sharing. It seems that Polish food is mild on spice, am I right?