Polish cuisine is of a Slavic and German origin with an influence of Italian, French, Jewish, Hungarian and Turkish kitchen. It uses a great variety of ingredients, its dishes are abundant in meat (pork, beef, lamb, game) or fish (cod, carp, salmon, trout, pike) and spices (black pepper, paprika, cumin, marjoram, garlic, fennel, bay leaf), accompanied by various types of pasta or wheat and salads.
Very popular ingredients are: wild mushrooms, pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut, cabbage, carrots, beetroot, poppy seed, horseradish, curd cheese, sour cream.
Among the most popular traditional Polish dishes are:
Bigos: the most popular Polish dish. Traditionally it was a dish made for hunters and served with wine after the hunt. It is made of sauerkraut, different types of fresh and smoked meat, sausages, bacon, wild mushrooms and red wine. It is served with bread or potatoes.
Pierogi is another typical Polish dish. It is a type of ravioli of a semicircular shape. There are lots of different fillings used to prepare them: sauerkraut with wild mushrooms (z kapusta i grzybami), curd cheese- sweet (z serem), potato purée, fried onions and curd cheese (ruskie- the most popular ones), meat (z miesem) or fruit (z owocami). They are either served with sour cream and sugar (pierogi with fruit filling, especially with blackberries), fried onions (with sauerkraut and wild mushrooms) or with melted butter and sugar (the sweet ones with curd cheese).
Kotlet schabowy: pork chop (similar to Wiener schnitzel) served with boiled potatoes, fried cabbage or with carrots with green peas.
Klopsiki: meat balls made of pork served with boiled potatoes and sauce.
Kotlet mielony z marchewka: mince meat served with potatoes and sweet flavoured carrots and green peas.
Zrazy wolowe: beef filled with bacon, onions, pickled cucumbers, served with sauce and buckwheat or potatoes.
Golabki: steamed cabbage leaves filled with mince meat, rice, fried onions, served with tomato sauce.
Poledwiczki wolowe z sosem grzybowym: fillets of beef with mushroom sauce
Lazanki: pasta with sauerkraut, fried onions and bacon
Fasolka po bretonsku: white beans with smoked sausage in a tomato sauce
Golonka: pork shoulder served with beer sauce
Zeberka: pork ribs served with sauce, boiled potatoes or buckwheat
Kluski Slaskie (“Silesian pasta”): small balls made of mashed potatoes and starch flour. They are served with meat and sauce or with fried onions and fried cabbage.
Kopytka: pasta in a shape of a hoof made of mashed potatoes and flour; normally accompanied by meat with sauce or with fried onions
Pyzy ziemniaczane: balls made of grated raw potatoes and flour, sometimes filled with meat; they can be served on their own with fried onions
Placki ziemniaczane: similar to rösti; made of grated raw potatoes with a touch of flour, and an egg; can be served with sugar or sour cream
Knedle: made of mashed boiled potatoes and flour, filled in with plums, cherries or strawberries
Kluski drozdzowe na parze: very light balls made of flour and yeast, steamed; served with meat and sauce
Barszcz czerwony: beetroot soup often served with raviolis filled with wild mushrooms
Kapusniak: sauerkraut soup
Rosól: chicken soup with noddles
Zupa pomidorowa: tomato soup with rice or noodles
Grochówka: green pea soup spiced with marjoram herbs
Zupa grzybowa: mushroom soup
Flaki: soup made of tripe
Zupa ogórkowa: soup made of pickled cucumbers
Krupnik: vegetable soup with barley and pieces of meat
Zupa szczawiowa: sorrel soup with rice and pieces of hard boiled eggs
Zurek: soup on a basis of the rye flour extract with smoked sausage, herbs and hard boiled egg
Sledzie: marinated herring served with onions or sour cream
Chleb ze smalcem: bread with specially prepared spread made of pork fat fried with onions and some spices (black pepper, bay leaf and marjoram), served with typical Polish pickled cucumbers and accompanied by a glass of beer
Tatar: tartar fillet served with an egg yolk, pickled cucumbers and onions
Kielbasa z grila: grilled sausage with mustard, served with potato salad
Kaszanka: Polish black puding served fried with onions
Kielbasa wedzona: smoked sausage; (kie³basa Krakowska- smoked sausage is the most popular one)
Oscypek: smoked cheese made of sheep milk, originally from the area of the Tatra Mountains
Sernik wiedenski: baked cheesecake with vanilla cream
Sernik na zimno: cooled cheesecake with jelly (not baked)
Makowiec: poppy seed cake with almonds and raisins
Paczki: doughnuts filled with marmalade, rose jam, cream or custard
Bristol: chocolate sponge cake with a light liquor flavour with fresh whipped cream
Szarlotka: apple pie with icing or crumble
Rolada biszkoptowa: sponge roll filled with fresh whipped cream and fruit
Napoleonka: French style pastry filled with custard cream
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