Polish Foods

The culinary traditions of European countries are distinguished by originality, the presence of their own cooking style, and Polish cuisine is no exception. It was formed under the influence of neighboring peoples, while retaining its own culinary recipes, many of which are hundreds of years old.

Features of Polish cuisine

Polish national dishes are plentiful. Chefs use gifts from the Baltic Sea, vegetables, fruits, meat of wild and domestic animals, fish from lakes, rivers, mushrooms, berries, dairy products.

The Polish gastronomic traditions were influenced by the peoples living in the country or in the neighborhood (Lithuanians, Magyars, Germans, Tatars, Jews, Russians). French and Italian chefs who served at the court of the kings and the Polish nobility brought a peculiar sophistication to the recipes.

Polish cuisine is delicious and high in calories.

Many dishes are typical of traditional Slavic cuisine (soups, cabbage soup, dumplings, cereals, sauerkraut, pickled mushrooms, cucumbers), but there are national dishes – flaki, bigos.

What is the difference from Russian cuisine

A lot of pork is consumed in Poland. It is baked, fried in breadcrumbs, used in the preparation of many soups and even borscht. In Russia, beef and poultry are mainly used for broths.

Poles consume sour dairy products in large quantities. Sour cream is the main ingredient in sauces, salad dressings and sweets.

The peculiarity of Polish cuisine is the use of marjoram, black pepper in most dishes, which makes the food more spicy and different from traditional Russian recipes.

Cereals play a special role; many dishes are prepared from them, from milk porridge to multicomponent casseroles with mushrooms and vegetables.

The history of development

Medieval chronicles describing Polish cuisine characterized it as plentiful, spicy, heavy with a predominance of meat and cereals. It was noted, however, that the food was not particularly tasty. Perhaps this is due to the use of a large number of spices, which were unusual for Europeans. Trade routes passed through Lvov, merchants from eastern countries supplied local chefs with nutmeg and pepper.

The recipe was based on household products, as well as meat of wild animals, gifts of the forest. The country did not live well, the daily diet included sauerkraut with smoked lard, pearl barley, dumplings with potatoes or cottage cheese, pea puree with lard, in the summer they added fresh vegetable salads. Among alcoholic beverages, vodka, berry liqueurs, and beer prevailed.

New items began to penetrate into Old Polish cuisine at the beginning of the 16th century. with the advent of Italian chefs at the royal court, which Bona Sforza brought with her.

After the military campaigns, sausages, jerky meat, marinades appeared in the diet, which were so popular with the inhabitants that they began to cook in Poland.

King Stanislav August, who was fond of French cuisine, introduced a fashion for exquisite dishes and desserts.

Mass migration of Jews in the 16th century. brought new recipes to the country, which have taken root, have survived to this day.

Contemporary Polish cuisine

In modern Polish cuisine, potatoes and cereals are the basis of nutrition. Game began to appear on the tables rarely, giving way to poultry and pork. The consumption of liver (liver, entrails, lungs) has decreased. There are many recipes with tomatoes and bell peppers.

Modern cuisine in the country still combines the traditions of Western Europe and Eastern countries. Differs in a variety of dishes, which are dominated by the following tastes:

  • salted, sauerkraut (cabbage, cucumbers, apples, kvass);
  • moderately spicy (mustard, onion, garlic, horseradish);
  • spicy herbal (anise, juniper, caraway seeds, cumin, nutmeg, anise, caraway seeds);
  • sour (cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt, kefir);
  • sweet and sour (cranberries, currants, apples, honeysuckle).

Emulsified sauces, margarines are used relatively little, preference is given to natural animal fats.

Beer can be used not only as a drink, but also as an additive to soups, main courses, sauces.

Modern cuisine has not lost its national originality, despite the influence of other traditions. It combines refined, aristocratic recipes with peasant cooking methods.

Main products

Poland is a country with an agrarian bias, therefore cereals and animal meat are used for cooking. The presence of large forests makes wild plants available: mushrooms, berries, herbs, nuts, as well as game (rabbits, roe deer, wild boars).

Due to the limited access to marine resources, river fish (pike, carp, pike perch) are used in traditional cuisine, which is caught in streams, lakes, rivers.

The use of vegetables, fruits, berries in recipes is typical. In winter, nuts and acorns are added to the diet.

A special role is given to dairy products, which are used for the preparation of cheeses, sour cream, and cottage cheese.

The set of popular Polish products is similar to the set of Russian or Ukrainian ones, although it has some differences.

Cooking fats – butter, lard, rapeseed, linseed oil.

Cooking methods

Almost all traditional methods are used in cooking:

  • frying (meat, potatoes, mushrooms, eggs);
  • stewing (vegetables, meat);
  • cooking (soups, porridge, fish);
  • baking (vegetables, cereals, mushrooms, fish);
  • drying (meat);
  • smoking (meat, sausage, bacon, fish);
  • pickling (cabbage, cucumbers, milk);
  • pickling (vegetables, mushrooms, fruits);
  • grill (vegetables, meat, cheese).

Is Polish cuisine healthy?

Polish cuisine involves the preparation of food from natural products. It turns out satisfying, tasty, but sometimes too high in calories.

In this country, pickling of vegetables is traditionally used. During fermentation, the sugar content decreases, while the amount of vitamins increases. The use of pickled vegetables is possible during the entire autumn-winter period. They provide the body with the necessary substances, support the immune system.

In Poland, products made from fermented milk (yogurt, kefir) are consumed in large quantities. They are well absorbed, contain many probiotics that improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, provide the body with protein, vitamins B2, B12, calcium, phosphorus.

Pork, which the Poles love, is also necessary for the body in moderation. The product contains beneficial omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids, which serve as building blocks for cell membranes and regulate hormone levels.

Food in Poland, consisting of natural and fermented products, corresponds to the modern concept of healthy eating. Provides health benefits. It is only required to control the amount of calories consumed, since a lot of fat is used.

Poles prefer bread made with a special sourdough culture. It has a low glycemic index and is easier to digest and digest.

Poles love and know how to cook bread on their own made sourdough.

Traditional cuisine in general

A large list of unique, original recipes is the hallmark of Poland. No other country in the world has invented so many ways to use cereals and mushrooms. Poland is a land of agrarian dishes. Here you can try cold vegetable and fruit soups, sausages cooked according to old recipes, dumplings with sour cream, cabbage bigos with smoked meats, cabbage rolls with buckwheat and mushrooms, krupniki – a kind of buckwheat casserole, semolina, rice with a curd-egg mixture.

In Poland, a lot of river fish is consumed, the famous Polish-style pike perch is served in the best restaurants in Europe.

Traditional dishes prepared at home, in cafes and restaurants include:

  • bigos (stewed cabbage with meat);
  • pies (local version of dumplings);
  • Borsch;
  • zhur (milk soup with marjoram, potatoes, sausage, eggs);
  • zrazy (meat rolls with filling);
  • golabki (cabbage rolls);
  • flaki (thick soup with cow tripe);
  • cutlets (chops);
  • cream (puff pastry with custard).

Polish cuisine cannot be imagined without cheeses made from selected dairy products with high flavors:

  1. Smoked ossypek cheese is made from sheep’s milk. Has a light aroma of mountain herbs.
  2. Royal cheese is made from cow’s milk. It tastes like maasdam, has a light nutty flavor.
  3. Blue cheeses (brie, camembert) have been cooked for a long time. The Poles have learned to control the maturation processes well, preventing the appearance of harmful bacteria.
  4. Radamer has a bright yellow color, sweetish creamy taste, has large, even holes in the structure.
  5. Gouda tastes like butter.

Appetizers and salads

In Poland, there are many vegetables in the diet, from which various dishes are prepared, incl. salads:

  1. Polish salad. Includes fresh vegetables: cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, dill, boiled eggs, pickled cucumbers. Dressed with vegetable oil, salt, sugar, pepper.
  2. New Year’s salad. Boiled beef, porcini mushrooms, onions are cut into strips. Pour cucumber marinade for 1 hour. Then the liquid is drained, the dish is seasoned with vegetable oil with 2 tablespoons of mushroom broth.
  3. Polish-style potato with green beans. Boil potatoes, cut into cubes. The beans are boiled with salt and sugar until tender. Combine the ingredients, season with salt, vinegar.
  4. Chervona cabbage. Red cabbage is cut into strips, scalded with boiling water. A dressing is prepared from finely grated horseradish, vegetable oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt, mixed with cabbage.

Polish snacks are peculiar:

  1. Grilled oscypek. Sheep cheese is cut into circles, wrapped in strips of bacon and fried over an open fire.
  2. Bread with lard. A mixture of chopped bacon with fried onions is spread on the bread.
  3. Polish herring. Prepared from salted herring fillets, onions, apples with sour cream and mustard sauce.

In Poland, many different dishes are prepared from sheep cheese and herring.


First courses are a must in the daily diet; they can even be served for dinner.

Zurek soup is a folk Polish food. It is based on rye flour sourdough, which is mixed with water. In each area, the recipe is slightly different. Boiled eggs, smoked or boiled sausage, brisket are added to the soup. For spiciness, they can be seasoned with garlic or horseradish.

Borsch is a traditional Slavic vegetable soup with beets. The cooking recipe is the same as in Russia. The accompaniment to it differs. Served with dumplings stuffed with mushrooms or cabbage.

Sorrel soup is a spring-summer light vegetable dish. Served with boiled eggs.

Chernina is an unusual Polish soup. Goose giblets, blood, vegetables, dried fruits, spices are added to it.

Kholodnik is a soup based on beet broth, where the ingredients are put, which are used in the preparation of Russian okroshka.

Polish cabbage soup is a national soup made with pork ribs. Sauerkraut, pearl barley, dry mushrooms, juniper berries, smoked brisket are added to it.

There are many different types of cabbage dishes in Polish cuisine.

Main dishes

River fish dishes are traditionally present in Polish cuisine, for example:

  1. Polish pike perch. The fish is cooked in a broth obtained from a decoction of vegetables with white wine. When serving, pour over with a sauce made from finely chopped eggs, herbs, melted butter.
  2. Polish carp. Cut the fish into pieces, add onions, salt, pepper, sprinkle with vinegar, leave to marinate for 30 minutes. At this time, a broth is prepared from vegetables, where they put raisins, almonds, beer, gingerbread, then fish is boiled in it.

As a supplement to the main food, it is customary to serve pies (similar to dumplings) with cabbage, mushroom and potato fillings.

Bigos is the main dish that is served at home to the table. Traditionally, it is made from sauerkraut and pork. Sometimes rice, mushrooms, smoked sausage are added.

Cabbage rolls were also invented in Poland. They came to Russian and Ukrainian cuisine from here.

Rice with meat, buckwheat with mushrooms, potatoes, eggplants, etc. are used as fillings.

Another delicious dish is Polish platski (potato pancakes), which are made from grated raw potatoes. In Russian cuisine, the dish is called draniki.

Polish dumplings made from boiled potatoes with flour, starch and eggs are also good.

Cereals prepared in various ways are served as side dishes.

Meat Dishes

Meat is the most important ingredient in Polish cuisine. Here they cook poultry, beef and pork, game from rabbits to deer and elk in a variety of ways.

Zrazy (beef rolls) in the classic version is a beef chop rolled into a roll stuffed with bacon, pickled cucumbers, onions, baked in the oven. In modern cuisine, mushrooms, potatoes, cheese, dried fruits are used as filling.

The national culinary masterpiece is a duck with apples. In the Polish version, the bird is marinated in mead, then baked in the oven with fruit.

Polish sausages made from several types of meat with garlic and spices are added to many dishes. Fragrant, smoked meat can decorate the simplest dish. Sausage is prepared with blood, cereals, which are present only in local cuisine.

Meat dishes are very popular in Poland.

Special mention should be made of the delicacy of polandvitsa – dry-cured meat with salt and spices.

Polish desserts

The Polish national cuisine contains sweet and tender desserts. Traditional sweets include mazurka, rum baba, donuts, cottage cheese, favors, creams, galaretkas, charlotte, kolachiks, poppy seeds, zygmunt, vuzetka, bayadere.


Alcoholic drinks are presented in a wide range: liqueurs, liqueurs, zubrovka, vodka, beer. The original recipe for some drinks has been preserved since the Middle Ages.

Zubrowka is a real Polish brand. The basis of the drink is the herb of the same name, which grows on the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha (bison reserve). A stem of a plant is placed in each bottle to add aroma and taste, poured with vodka, insisted for several days.

Beer in Poland is produced in large quantities, there are dozens of brands ranging from budget options to craft beer.

Polish cherries, plums, pears and other liqueurs are not just alcoholic drinks. This is one of the ways to get vitamins during the cold season. The preparation is simple. Pour berries or fruits with vodka, add a little sugar, insist for 1-2 months. They get alcohol with an exquisite taste, high content of vitamins and fruit acids.

Nut honey is a symbol of Poland’s national color, its centuries-old history. Consumed hot to keep warm. Differs in deep, rich taste.

Apple cider has over 50 brands. Great attention is paid to the production of sweet and sour drink, because it is exported to other countries.

More about national Polish dishes

Of the many dishes of the national cuisine, several recipes can be distinguished that convey its character and traditions.

Zhurek soup


  • rye sourdough – 500 ml;
  • broth – 2 l;
  • veal sausages – 4 pcs.;
  • bacon – 200 g;
  • onion – 1 pc.;
  • garlic – 1 clove;
  • sour cream – 3 tbsp. l .;
  • spices: salt, pepper, marjoram;
  • boiled eggs.


  1. Put the broth in a saucepan on the stove.
  2. Fry onions, bacon.
  3. Transfer to a saucepan, add sausages. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour in the leaven, add garlic and spices. Cook for another 5-6 minutes.

Served in a small loaf of bread, from which the crumb has been removed. Season with sour cream, adding eggs cut into quarters.



  • pork – 500 g;
  • smoked sausages – 200 g;
  • sauerkraut – 1 kg;
  • dry mushrooms – 30 g;
  • sour apple – 1 pc .;
  • vegetable oil – 2 tbsp. l .;
  • water – 750 ml;
  • spices: bay leaf, salt, caraway seeds, marjoram, allspice.


  1. Fry onions and meat in a cauldron (saucepan).
  2. Add water, dried mushrooms. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Add cabbage, apple, sausages, spices, stir, simmer for 20 minutes.

Polish pike perch


  • pike perch – 1 kg;
  • onion – 1 pc.;
  • parsley root – 2 pcs.;
  • carrots – 1 pc.;
  • spices: black pepper, bay leaf, white wine – 100 g.

For the sauce:

  • butter – 120 g;
  • boiled eggs – 3 pcs.;
  • parsley greens – 50 g;
  • lemon – ½.


  1. Peel the fish, cut into pieces.
  2. Boil vegetables in water.
  3. Drain the broth, add spices, wine, put the fish. Cook for 15 minutes.

Prepare Polish Sauce:

  1. Melt butter, mix with lemon juice.
  2. Add finely chopped eggs, herbs, salt.
  3. Put the fish on a large dish, pour over the sauce.

Duck with apples and pike perch with a special sauce are considered national Polish dishes.

Duck baked with apples


  • duck – 1 pc.;
  • mead – 1-1.5 l;
  • apples – 4-6 pcs.;
  • spices: salt, pepper, coriander.


  1. Pour the duck with mead, leave for 2-3 hours.
  2. Take out the carcass, rub with salt, spices, put in a rooster.
  3. Cut the apples in half and core.
  4. Stuff the carcass with them, put them around the bird. Add 1 tbsp. mead.
  5. Place in the oven for 1.5 hours, covered.
  6. If you need a golden crust, the lid can be removed 20 minutes before cooking.

The dish is served with lingonberry sauce.



  • potatoes – 5-6 pcs.;
  • eggs – 2 pcs.;
  • minced meat – 500 g;
  • onion – 1 pc.;
  • spices: salt, nutmeg, pepper.


  1. Grate potatoes, squeeze.
  2. Add salt, eggs, mix well.
  3. Put salt, spices, onions in the minced meat, knead well.
  4. Make a potato tortilla, put the meat filling, pinch the edges. This should place the minced meat in the middle.
  5. Sorcerers can be fried in oil, lard, or boiled in water.

Polish dumplings


  • flour – 300 g;
  • water – 125 g;
  • egg – 1 pc.;
  • vegetable oil – 1 tbsp. l .;
  • butter – 50 g;
  • salt – 0.5 tsp.

For filling:

  • mushrooms;
  • onion;
  • salt.


  1. Knead the dough from the specified ingredients.
  2. Roll out thinly, cut out circles.
  3. For the filling, fry the mushrooms and onions.
  4. Form dumplings, boil in water for 2-3 minutes.

Serve with melted butter or sour cream.



  • yeast-free puff pastry – 1 kg;
  • egg yolk – 5 pcs.;
  • milk – 700 ml;
  • butter – 200 g;
  • flour – 5 tbsp. l .;
  • starch – 3 tbsp. l .;
  • sugar – 11 tbsp. l .;
  • vanillin – 1 packet.


  1. Roll out the dough, cut into squares, put in the oven for 15 minutes to bake.
  2. Heat the milk on the stove.
  3. Beat eggs with sugar.
  4. Dissolve flour and starch in a glass of water.
  5. When the milk heats up to about 80 ° C, pour in the egg mixture, then add flour with starch, add vanillin.
  6. Cook, stirring constantly, until the cream thickens.
  7. Cool the resulting mass to room temperature, add butter, beat.
  8. Spread a square of dough with cream, cover with others.
  9. Refrigerate for 5-6 hours to soak.



  • beef scars (stomachs) – 1 kg;
  • carrots – 3 pcs.;
  • onion – 1 pc.;
  • celery – 30 g;
  • broth – 1.6 l;
  • flour – 1 tbsp. l .;
  • spices: bay leaf, allspice, marjoram, salt, ginger, ground red pepper.


  1. Rinse the scars, cover with water, cook for 20-30 minutes. Drain the broth.
  2. Pour clean water into a saucepan, cook the scars for 2 hours.
  3. Rinse the stomachs again, cut into long narrow pieces, put in broth, put on the stove.
  4. Add bay leaves, allspice and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Fry the onion until golden brown, mix with flour, put in a saucepan.
  6. Peel, cut and add vegetables (carrots, celery) to the soup.
  7. Season with spices at the end of cooking.

Goose roll


  • goose – 1 pc.;
  • wine – 100 ml;
  • vegetable oil – 3 tbsp. l .;
  • nuts – 100 g;
  • apples – 3 pcs.;
  • spices: salt, pepper, cumin.


  1. The hardest part of this recipe is to prepare the goose, because all bones should be removed from it. Cut off some of the meat from thick places (breast, legs), put it in those places where there is little of it.
  2. Prepare a marinade from vegetable oil, wine, spices. Pour it over a goose, refrigerate for 6-9 hours.
  3. Peel and chop the nuts, cut the apples into cubes.
  4. Heat the butter, fry these ingredients in it for 2 minutes.
  5. Get the goose, distribute the filling evenly over it.
  6. Roll up, tie with twine. Place in a deep tray.
  7. Bake for 90 minutes at 180-200 ° C, occasionally pouring over the melted fat.

The goose roll is best cooked in Poland.

Cabbage rolls


  • cabbage – 1 head of cabbage;
  • carrots – 2 pcs.;
  • onions – 2 pcs.;
  • buckwheat – 200 g;
  • flour – 1 tbsp. l .;
  • vegetable oil – 3-4 tbsp. l .;
  • fresh mushrooms – 200 g;
  • cream – 200 g;
  • dried mushrooms – 30 g;
  • spices: pepper, salt.


  1. Cut the cabbage stump from the cabbage head, put it in a large saucepan, add water, cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Boil buckwheat.
  3. Chop 1 onion, grate 1 carrot, fry in oil.
  4. Add to the finished buckwheat, salt. The filling is ready.
  5. Disassemble the cabbage into separate leaves. Put the filling in them and wrap them in an envelope.
  6. Put stuffed cabbage rolls in a saucepan or saucepan. Drizzle with vegetable oil. Add 1-2 tbsp. water, salt.
  7. Sprinkle on top with finely grated carrots and crushed dry mushrooms. Cook the dish for 40 minutes.

Prepare the sauce:

  1. Fry onions and mushrooms in oil until tender (10-15 minutes).
  2. Add spices, pour in cream, add flour. Cook for 5-6 minutes until thickened.
  3. Serve the prepared cabbage rolls with mushroom sauce.

Cucumber soup


  • pork ribs;
  • water – 2 l;
  • potatoes – 3 pcs.;
  • carrots – 1 pc.;
  • onion – 1 pc.;
  • pickled cucumbers – 4 pcs.;
  • pearl barley – 100 g;
  • spices: salt, bay leaf.


  1. Pour ribs with water, prepare meat broth.
  2. Add barley, cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Put potatoes, onions, carrots, pickles in the soup, you can pour in ½ cup of brine. Cook for 20 minutes, season with spices at the end.

It turns out a dish that is called rassolnik in Russian cuisine.