The food of Poland and how much I have to eat!

Polish country sausages and bread!
Polish country sausages and bread!

Very early tomorrow morning, “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I will be starting our journey to the Baltic Sea in Poland.

If you haven’t been frightened by why you shouldn’t bother going to Poland or even how to get to Poland itself, then it’s time to understand the food of our Eastern neighbour – Poland.

Poland is not known for having the best cuisine and to best honest, it’s not the healthiest either, as meals are quite rich in sugar, butter, oil, salt and oil. What it has going for it, is the use of local resources.

Perhaps in the big cities, you’re going to be served passion fruit ice-cream and lemon grass soup, but at the Baltic Sea the thing to go for is seafood and or local produce.

Polish fishermen on the Polish Baltic Sea who did fabulously well. These men are local sons of the soil and were very helpful!
Polish fishermen on the Polish Baltic Sea who did fabulously well. These men are local sons of the soil and were very helpful!

Let’s start with:

• BREAD: In Poland the bakery is called Piekarnia or bread shops and boy do they have a collection of bread in different shapes and sizes. The bread is quite different to what you find in Germany although, it too is brown. It seems to be of a thicker consistency or is enormously sweet. Like cake and similar to French bread. I guess it’s the butter as you don’t seem to need anything else added to it like jam. The brown bread is also eaten in the morning with a huge grilled sausage and sweet mustard or ketchup, and a side cucumber and onion salad.

Bread in Poland.
Bread in Poland.

• CAKE: In Poland, the confectionary or cake shop is called cukiernia. I would personally call it a bakery but apparently, it’s quite different! I have to tell you that Polish cake is rather yummy and filled with lots of cream similar to British cake and very different to that of Germany which is either (to my taste) rather dry, or not considered a cake at all, but a torte.

Cake in Poland.
Cake in Poland.

• Some cakes are Polish classics like Makowiec which is a poppy-seed cake. Not my thing but the locals love it or Paczki which is a type of doughnut-like sticky bun. Really sticky and filled with strawberry jam, a type of custard blancmange, sweet cheese or chocolate spread. There is also Sernik or cheesecake filled with cream cheese and sometimes raisins.

Real cake with custard icing and a single green and red grape with a swirl of cream and a sliver of chocolate!
Real cake with custard icing and a single green and red grape with a swirl of cream and a sliver of chocolate!

• BISCUITS: Poland has a lot of things available for those who either have a sweet-tooth or just want to snack. Piernik or gingerbread is considered a cake in Poland but I would say it was a gingerbread biscuit. This Piernik is similar to that found in Germany except that it has a filling of chocolate or plum jam.

This isn't Piernik or gingerbread, but I couldn't resist putting in this lovely duo of rasperry tart under some sort of lemony cream and caramel mousse!
This isn’t Piernik or gingerbread, but I couldn’t resist putting in this lovely duo of rasperry tart under some sort of lemony cream and caramel mousse!

• What I really like was this floury biscuit called Faworki aka chrust or angel wings. They were quite plain but rather delicious, and made in the shape of a bow-tie!

Polish Faworki or Polish Angel Wings.
Polish Faworki or Polish Angel Wings.

• FISH: In Poland the fishmonger is known as Sklep Rybny. Being that we’re going to the seaside, you would be a fool not to try out and indeed, take advantage of all that fish and seafood.

You can't go wrong with a plain and simple plate of salt and peppered thick chunky chips, with fried fish with all it's bones, and a slice of lettuce and lemon!
You can’t go wrong with a plain and simple plate of salt and peppered thick chunky chips, with fried fish with all it’s bones, and a slice of lettuce and lemon!

Yes, it’s not going to be anything fancy like lobster as this isn’t Rhode Island in New England, USA and neither are you going to get exotic wonders like swordfish, or sushi salami from Japan, or even mouth-watering oysters which are all the rage in France. What you will get is solid good old-fashioned stuff like eel which is later smoked, halibut, trout, pike, mackerel, fried Pangasius fish, sole, tuna, carp, cod, salmon, flounder, turbot and herring.

Most of the fish is either sold straight from the trawlers and fishing boats, or smoked and fried to a deep crispiness, and served with shredded carrot and sauerkraut (white pickled cabbage).

Fresh fish that we caught. Bones and all, although they chopped off the head on the boat!
Fresh fish that we caught. Bones and all, although they chopped off the head on the boat!

• VEGETABLES: Like other East European countries, the concept of being a vegetarian or indeed a vegan is not well understood or respected.

I remember when I lived in the Czech Republic and I had a group of young British under-graduates in my charge, many of whom were vegetarian. The restaurants that I worked with just didn’t understand what I meant and the most that they could offer was fried cheese covered in batter for lunch and fried cheese covered in batter for dinner.

In those days, the meat was rather dodgy and from unknown don’t-ask-questions-you’re lucky-to-get-any sources, so even though I’m a meat-eater most of us ended up having fried cheese covered in batter for rather a long time, such that I can’t stand fried cheese today! But I digress.

This is what happens to children who don't eat their greens - boiled fish for dinner, and only boiled fish!
This is what happens to children who don’t eat their greens – boiled fish for dinner, and only boiled fish!

• Mizeria is a simple salad made of sliced fresh cucumber and cream and Ogorki kiszone, known as pickled cucumber or dill pickle, is added as a side dish to almost everything concerning bread and potatoes.  It is also used as an appetizer for vodka!

Polish vegetable salad coleslaw. © polishmeals.com
Polish vegetable salad coleslaw © polishmeals.com

• MEAT PRODUCTS: In Poland, the butcher’s is known as Sklep Miesny. Cold cuts of meat are very popular and are considered staples, eaten with bread or as a quick snack eaten with a cucumber or gherkin pickle. Similar to Germany, there are a wide variety of sausages such as kabanos sausage, kielbasa sausage, and kaszanka, which is black pudding.

Boiled Polish sausage with brown bread, sweet mustard, ketchup and pickled cucumber or gherkin.
Boiled Polish sausage with brown bread, sweet mustard, ketchup and pickled cucumber or gherkin.

• A popular dish is Bigos or hunter’s stew. Bigos is a stewed dish made from cabbage as a main ingredient. Fresh cabbage or pickled white cabbage (sauerkraut), sausage, mushrooms, onions, apple or dried plums and spices. To give an extra punch white wine is usually added and eaten with thickly-cut slices of brown bread.

A well-known dish called pierogi or dumpling is considered to be a national Polish dish and is like a ravioli in that it is stuffed with a variety of fillings such as potatoes, cottage cheese, meat, white cabbage, and mushrooms. Pyzy is another type of dumpling but in small balls made from grated potatoes and often stuffed with meat eaten with pork scratching, sausages, lard or fried onions.

Polish Pierogi with bacon bits. We had the Russian Pierogi too, and they were both just as delicious LOL!
Polish Pierogi with bacon bits. We had the Russian Pierogi too, and they were both just as delicious LOL!

• Another meat product dish is Kotlet schabowy or pork schnitzel similar to that found in Germany or Austria, and of course, goulash made from beef, red bell peppers, tomatoes and onions and served with potato dumplings.

I can't remember what kind of Polish dish this was but it sure was yummy and looks like some sort of pork with roast potatoes and a stuffed pitta pocket!
I can’t remember what kind of Polish dish this was but it sure was yummy and looks like some sort of pork with roast potatoes and a stuffed pitta pocket!

• SOUP: Ah yes, soup. When you think of Polish food, most people tend to automatically think of that most famous of soups – Barszcz czerwony or Borsch. Borsch is a soup made chiefly from beetroot and depending on whether it’s Hungarian, Russian or Polish is served with various vegetables or cream. Traditionally, borscht is served with uszka which is a type of stuffed dumpling or served with sour cream, as most of us know it.

Polish Borscht with a dollop of sour cream. ©holisticsquid.com
Polish Borscht with a dollop of sour cream. ©holisticsquid.com

• However, there is also Zurek or Polish sour rye soup which is a traditional soup eaten at Easter. About right now. Great!

I’ve not had this soup yet but I’ve heard that it’s extremely sour and is served in a special hollowed-out round loaf of bread with an enormous hole in the middle of it. A bit like a huge Yorkshire pudding! A hard-boiled egg or a smoked sausage, bacon or ham is sometimes added to the Zurek.

We also mustn’t forget Flaki which is a type of beef tripe soup made from spicy shreds of beef stomach, lots of herbs, and eaten with bread.

Zurek or Polish sour rye soup.
Zurek or Polish sour rye soup.

As a last note. Waffles.

In Poland, waffles are normally sold at the ice-cream shop or gofrey. Waffles with double-cream and berries covered with sprinkles of hundreds and thousands.

OMG so delicious.

So creamy.

So wicked.

So cheap!

Waffles & scrummy cream. What can I say!
Waffles & scrummy cream.
What can I say!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my very own. I’ll be in Poland for the week so you can catch me on Twitter.

Watch this space!

A huge batch of Polish pizza. We tried our best but we simply couldn't finish it delicious though it was!
A huge batch of Polish pizza. We tried our best but we simply couldn’t finish it delicious though it was!

Have you ever had Polish food? Did you like it? Would you suggest something that I should try while I’m out there?

"The Tall Young Gentleman" as a much younger happy sailor, on the Polish Baltic Sea!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” as a much younger happy sailor, on the Polish Baltic Sea!

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39 thoughts on “The food of Poland and how much I have to eat!

  1. The tall young gentleman us such a cute kid!!! Everything looks good. The vegetarian fried cheese story cracked me up! At home, they would look at you like you had two heads if you said you were a vegetarian. Of course everyone would assume it was because you couldn’t afford meat..lol!. It sounds the same in Poland, meaning l’m going to love it! Have fun..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! Thanks so much kemkem. I’ll tell him. 🙂 You’ll definately love Poland. We’ve only just arrived and it’s surprisingly quiet ‘cos of Easter Monday as it’s quite a traditional country but we’ll be going into “town” soon to see what we can find for dinner and having a very early night. 🙂 Yeah, fried cheese? No can do. In Greece, vegetarianism used to be that you’d be offered chicken. Many developing countries think the same LOL!

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  2. The food seems hearty if a little basic. I am all about the bread – the only country, so far, where I hadn’t liked the bread has been Spain – but that fish looks a little TOO fresh. Like I just dove in and caught it with my teeth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep! Sometimes plain and simple food does the job better than the sophisticated fare that we, in the modern age, are quite used to. Especially, if you’re ill. My mother used to give us minestrone soup, plain bread, rice with a bit of butter, or a hard-boiled egg. The soup used to make me vomit but I was quite partial to the egg and rice LOL!
      I hear you about the bread Anna. So important. The only place that I hadn’t liked the local bread was in Vietnam. Sweet roll bread with melted butter, covered in spoons of sugar. Disgusting! It actually made me gag as I wasn’t expecting the sweetness. Shudder!!

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    1. Thanks so much @wisemonkeysabroad! Poland is great. We had dinner at a posh hotel last night and it was brilliant. We were stuffed and the prices were so reasonable. No way could you get them in Western Europe at that price except perhaps in Berlin LOL! Poland has such an amazing choice. Try them all I say. Why not….?

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  3. I remember the Polish sausages, -they were amazing! The cakes were a bit too sweet for me, but I didn’t try a lot. That story about the fried cheese really made me laugh:) Enjoy your trip to Poland.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so Mitzie. We’re having a blast right now and the fish and sausages ARE amazing. I’m glad that you liked the fried cheese situation. It was dismal at the time but you’ve gotta laugh LOL. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much @Menopausal Mother! The cake was indeed delightful. We had it at the castle that they have in Leba – the Hotel Neptun. They really have classy stuff there and a very good chef! I’ll see what I can do. Thanks once again for coming by. 🙂

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      1. OK @Menopausal Mother! I passed on your request to Hotel Neptun and this was their reply “Dear Madame, you will not find our recipes and I can’t give them. All our recipes (also on cakes) are our secret.”. Well, I tried LOL! 🙂

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    1. Nice one Cristin. 🙂 The food really is much better than we think. Yes, it can be simple fare but it can equally be sophisticated stuff. And even though most of the shops were closed, we certainly didn’t go hungry LOL! Which part of Poland have you been to?

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  4. I have really enjoyed discovering your posts on Poland. I have visited Krakow and Torun and Gdansk as well as some fleeting trips to Malbork etc. I have written posts about Krakow which I adored. I think your posts are really fascinating and will encourage others to visit that beautiful area.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comments @heavenhappens. I really like Poland and have been to both Krakow and Gdansk with Krakow being one of my very favourite cities to visit. A lovely place. 🙂 I hope more people will visit Poland too and very much look forward to reading your posts.

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  5. Hello. „Ruskie pierogi” doesn’t mean „Russian pierogi”. These kind of pierogi were very popular in Poland in region: Województwo Ruskie and in Lwów. Polish citizens made it the most 🙂

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    1. Thank you for your comment Krak!

      I understand “Russian Pierogi” to mean “Russian style.” I don’t believe that I used the word “Ruskie Pierogi!” And of course, I am very aware that Pierogi is Polish. If you look further up the page you will see that I wrote: “A well-known dish called pierogi or dumpling is considered to be a national Polish dish and is like a ravioli in that it is stuffed with a variety of fillings such as potatoes, cottage cheese, meat, white cabbage, and mushrooms!”

      For further info on how much I adore pierogi here’s another article that I wrote on it, when I went to Warsaw: The secret of eating & drinking in Warsaw – How to make pierogi and eat it!

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