One thing that Poland has in common with China is the love to its peculiar, traditional food and beverages. Here are a few essential facts about our eating and drinking culture!
1.Polish traditional foods consist of traditional Slavic fare, but also has influences from Italy and France that date back to the medieval Polish court.
2.The first surviving Polish cookbook dates back to 1682 with dishes influenced by strong Lithuanian and Tartar –Turkish influences and German culinary traditions.
3.Polish traditional foods are flavorful, hearty and complex.
4.Traditionally, the main meal of 3 courses is eaten around 2 pm, starting with a soup, a main course of meat ,potatoes and salad/beet puree or pickled cucumbers (my favorite!), and a dessert.
5.Polish dessert will include Polish cheesecake – sernik or apple tart(szarlotka) , makowiec – sponge cake with poppy seed filling or eklerka (éclair).
6.Polish soups are often made with mushrooms, beets and broth.
7.The most common meat in traditional Polish cuisine is pork, but chicken, beef, venison ,duck and other meats are also seen on restaurant menus today.
8.Fish dishes are also popular, especially in regional Polish traditional food. Carp, pike, perch, eel and sturgeon are all served in various ways.
9.The ‘Paczki’ or Polish doughnuts is one of the most traditional Polish desserts appearing since the time of King Augustus III of Poland in the early 18th century.It is most consumed on the Fat Thursday – which is the Thursday before Lent. It has been recorded that 100 million paczki are consumed every year just on this one day!
10.Poles also love their cold cut and Polish butcher shops are known for their enormous selection! (smoked ham , kielbasa suszona – dried sausage – and ham called ‘Poledwica sopocka’ are particularly worth trying!)
11.The most popular Polish ‘fast food’ is called ‘zapiekanka’- it is a baguette with cheese, mushrooms, onions or peppers, sometimes meat and ketchup.
12.The world famous Polish food staple are undeniably pierogi!
13.Poles drink some 92 litres of beer a year. According to the oldest document recalling beer in Poland,’ The Polish Chronicle’ by Thetmar from Merseburg,beer already appeared during the reign of Polish King Boleslaw I The Brave (992 – 1025).
14.Beer is often served with raspberry, maple or blackcurrant juice and drunk using a straw.During cold seasons the popular refreshment is hot beer with cloves and cinnamon, sweetened with honey.
15.Poland is part of the ‘Vodka belt countries’ and has a history of producing high quality vodka for more than 500 years! It is made of specially selected variety of Stobrava potatoes or the grass Hierochloe odorata (sweet grass). BOLS from the Netherlands has also been produced in Poland since 1994.