Polish & European food specialties
- Few words of introduction to traditional Polish food Poland is an European country with a difficult history lasting more than 1000 years. In imagination, it is partially possible to go back to the distant times of the first princes and Kings of Poland, to look at the Polish state in the Middle Ages, since a general image of some culinary customs and early Polish food traditions have partly survived throughout the centuries. Some aspects of a modern Polish cuisine are similar. A willingness to keep with the tradition has always been present. However, a notable part of the traditional Polish food culture was changing by means of evolution. With a development of trade various Polish foods and products naturally influenced one another within a neighboring nations or according to arriving ethnic group traditions.
We know far more details about the history of Polish food in the next ages after medieval. The first survived Polish recipes cookbook dates back to 1682, a year when Philadelphia is founded, de La Salle claims the region of Mississippi River as La Louisiane (today Louisiana) and Halley makes the first observation of a body today known as the Halley's comet. Contemporary Polish state, called Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a multiethnic country. And Polish food was affected by strong Lithuanian and Tartar-Turkish influences. This fact exerted an additional positive effect on a wealth of tastes and a composition of the national menu. Polish food culture, as we know it today, has formed. Admittedly, over three hundred years later we can assess it empirically, and with a pleasure. Nowadays, some courses and meals that are a base of modern and traditional Polish cuisine, are common for the West Slavonic and Central-European nations. E.g. various national kinds of beetroot borscht or dumplings are well-known not only in Poland, but also in Czech Republic, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine. On the other hand one of the most popular, simple and not time consuming Polish food – kotlet schabowy – is completely similar to a schnitzel known very well in Austria and Germany.
Polish cuisine is a mixture of Eastern European and German culinary traditions. It is rich in meat, especially chicken and pork, and winter vegetables (cabbage in the dish bigos), and spices, as well as different kinds of noodles the most notable of which are the pierogi. The traditional cuisine generally is demanding and Poles allow themselves a generous amount of time to prepare and enjoy their festive meals. Traditionally, the main meal is eaten about 2 p.m., and is usually composed of three courses, starting with a soup. The main course is usually meaty. Meals often conclude with a dessert such as makowiec.