What’s the best way to experience a culture? The food! In any country you visit, especially agriculturally-based countries, the food tells you everything you need to know. We are what we eat, after all. Polish food is hearty, warm, sometimes gamey, usually potato-based, and often covered in buttery deliciousness. Have a sneak peek here, and come hungry!
The most well-known Polish food? Pierogis! The savory variety can be filled with anything: potatoes, cabbage, meats, cheese, onion, or really anything else you might want to stuff into a two-bite-sized dumpling. They sometimes come with a side of sauce, sour cream, or butter. They are small, but mighty, so expect pierogis to make a hearty meal!
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This Eastern European staple is found just about everywhere, any time–even in summer! This hearty stew is made with potatoes, meat, and just about any other vegetable that needs to go in. Mine was served in a bread bowl, for extra-delicious comfort. The surprise was that there was a kick to this one I ate in Poznan. It was a little spicy for me!
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There is no shortage of sausage anywhere you go in Poland! It’s in soup, mixed in with sauerkraut, and served up with any meal of the day. It can be white, brown, pink, or a variation on those colors. It can also be fat, skinny, or even sliced instead of encased. “Meats” included in the sausage-making process can be pork, beef, deer, lamb, turkey, goose, chicken, veal, or maybe something else. As with any sausage, try not to ask too many questions!
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This Polish dish is made of sauerkraut, meat, and veggies. If you love sauerkraut, this is the one for you! If you don’t, skip it! Mine came in a bread bowl, which made it a little bit fun. Otherwise, this was not my most favorite Polish cuisine. As always, though, it was worth a try!
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This is often unfortunately called “sour” soup, but it’s actually quite delicious! Even in summer, you might be delighted to find a hot soup on a Polish menu. This one is hearty, too. It involves a hard-boiled egg, mushrooms, carrots, and ham. Mine was served with some incredible, fresh-made bread as well. Just right for a rainy, 60-degree (F) day in August!
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Stuffed Cabbage Leaves
Wow. I know this is a simple, not-so-elegant type of dish, but the stuffed cabbage leaves below were over-the-top delicious (it may have helped that we had these at a Michelin Star restaurant). They can be filled with many things, but ours were filled with buckwheat and mushrooms, and served in a truffle sauce. They are authentically Polish, but these were definitely taken up a notch or two!
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Okay, so this one is actually Hungarian, but it’s very popular across the Eastern European countries, including Czech Republic, Slovakia, and… Poland! It’s a yeasted, sweet dough wrapped around a cylinder or cone, and then baked in a rotisserie-style oven. They can be filled with ice cream, coated with sweets on the inside, or enjoyed simply dusted with sugar. My husband got the Nutella brownie dream, and I got one with butterscotch sauce inside!
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Savory is nice, but have you tried the sweet variety? If not, you’re missing out! Dessert pierogis can come filled with fruit, cream cheese, poppyseed, chocolate, and more. There will likely also be a sweet dipping sauce for you, just in case you need more sweetness in your life. Because, who doesn’t?
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