So much begins with a meal...

Polish cuisine is a product of long history and comes in variety of dishes, tastes and flavors. Different regions have contributed their own specialities of Polish food. And not just regions. Throughout centuries Poland has been home to many guests of other nations. This is why French, Italian, German, Ukrainian, Jewish and even Oriental influences are present in Polish cooking. And modern cooks keep adding their own ideas.
 

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Easter in Poland

 

If you are in Poland in April, on one Saturday you might see people heading somewhere with small baskets in their hands. If you look closer, you'll notice that there's food in the baskets. Those people are carrynig it to church for blessing, because it's Holy Saturday, just before Easter. And having your food blessed on that day is an old Polish tradition.


Polish Easter - food blessing
(source: pl.wikipedia.org)

 

Just like Christmas, Easter in Poland has its special culinary dimension. The food which is blessed on Holy Saturday is eaten on Easter Sunday during what is called Easter Breakfast. What is carried to church in a small basket is of course just a sample of the whole Easter Breakfast.

 

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Polish cuisine inspires


It is really hard to describe Polish food in just a few words, but this short movie does it briliantly. Smile

 

 
Christmas in Poland

 

Christmas is a special time. Also for Polish cuisine. Christmas Eve is most significant in this regard. On that day a traditional dinner is served in almost every Polish home. The dinner begins in the evening. In the past it used to include as many as twelve dishes. These days not many people still prepare that amount of meal. Nevertheless Polish Christmas Eve dinner is still a remarkable event.

Tradition requires that Christmas Eve dishes are meatless. And this custom is generally observed in Poland. Christmas Eve dishes are actually quite healthy, because they include mainly fish, vegetables and cereals. So what does a typical modern dinner on that special day in Poland look like?

 


Traditional Polish Christmas Eve meal.
source: en.wikipedia.org

Details vary, depending on geographic location and personal preferences. However we can specify the most popular dishes. The dinner usually starts with red borsch and noodles stuffed with mushrooms (“uszka” – literally “litttle ears”). Some people though serve herring as a starter, before the soup. Then come dumplings (pierogi), stuffed with sauerkraut and mushrooms. An indispensible and actually the central dish of the dinner is fish. The classsic Christmas Eve fish in Poland is carp. But sometimes people replace it with some other kind, say trout or salmon. The fish is served fried. Frequently jellied carp is also prepared for Christmas. A sweet dessert follows. The most typical is poppy seed cake or kutia. The latter is frequently encountered in the eastern part of the country. It consists mainly of cereals, poppy seed and honey. Cheesecake and other kinds of cakes are possible too.

It is worth mentioning that Christmas Eve dinner is preceeded with sharing wishes with every one present, along with sharing a piece of a Christmas wafer (opłatek) with them. The wafer cannot be considered a dish of course. It’s more of a symbolic element which stresses the solemnity of the moment. Another tradition is to left an empty plate for an unexpected guest who might appear. But this custom is no longer universally observed.


Polish Oplatki (Christmas Wafers)
source: en.wikipedia.org

During “propper” Christmas (after Christmas Eve) there are no strict traditions. Dishes are prepared freely to suit taste. Certainly poultry deserves mentioning. Duck is very popular (especially roasted with apples). Goose and chicken are also common. Generally, Poles indulge in food during Christmas. Heavier dishes and sweets abound. As a result the beneficiary effects of the healthy Christmas Eve dinner are all in all lost. But it is fully excusable to enjoy the tasty Polish cuisine to a slight excess once in a while Laughing

 

 
Makowiec - Poppy Seed Cake


Makowiec is one of the most important, typical and tasty Polish cakes.

In this cake poppy seeds are placed in between layers of dough which gives makowiec its characteristic looks. While poppy seeds are the most important ingredient, reflected in the cake's name (“mak” means poppy in Polish), several other ingredients determine the cake’s character too. Raisins, almonds, honey (contained in the dough), orange peel and sometimes walnuts contribute to makowiec's tastiness. Ideally makowiec should not be too sweet.

Poppy seed flavor combiend with almond and orange notes make the cake seem rather light to the taste. It’s a great thing to enjoy with a cup or coffe. Makowiec is also one of Polish traditional Christmas cakes. You should definitely try it, if you haven’t yet!


(source: en.wikipedia.org)


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Polish prune bread recipe

 

How to make Polish Prune Bread?

 

As we have already mentioned in our post about Polish bread, there are a lot of kinds of bread in Poland. Among them are of course wholegrain breads. Breads of this type very often have additional ingredients to enrich their taste. The most popular of such ingredients are sunflower seeds. Another interesting and often encountered possibility are prunes.
Below we present a popular recipe for home-made wholegrain prune bread. On the picture you can see a loaf of bread made according to the recipe. The bread was prepared by our reader from the U.S. She told us that not only was the bread tasty, but making it was fun too. We’re sure it was and the nice loaf on the picture is a proof of that.
If you like preparing food, try making your own prune bread!

As we have already mentioned in our post about Polish bread, there are a lot of kinds of bread in Poland. Among them are of course wholegrain breads. Breads of this type very often have additional ingredients to enrich their taste. The most popular of such ingredients are sunflower seeds. Another interesting and often encountered possibility are prunes.

Below we present a popular recipe for home-made wholegrain prune bread. On the picture you can see a loaf of bread made according to the recipe. The bread was prepared by our reader from the U.S. She told us that not only was the bread tasty, but making it was fun too. We’re sure it was and the nice loaf on the picture is a proof of that.


If you like preparing food, try making your own prune bread!

 

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