Here comes a list of modern and traditional Polish foods, supplemented with authentic Polish recipes. I honestly believe that this is the best traditional Polish food list available online. Going to visit Poland? Would you like to taste some delicious food not choosing on spec? You are welcome.
- Soups – list of 17 best Polish soups Lista 17 polskich zup
- First courses – list of 27 best Polish first courses Lista 27 polskich dan glownych
- Appetizers – list of 23 best Polish appetizers & ingredients Lista 23 polskich przystawek i skladnikow
- Drinks – list of 6 best Polish drinks Lista 6 polskich napojow
- Desserts – list of 22 best Polish desserts & sweets Lista 22 polskich deserow i slodyczy
Even more articles about Polish food and dishes,
for those of you interested:
- Old Polish cuisine – tastes and ingredients Kuchnia saropolska – smaki i skladniki
- Regional Polish food – diversity of Polish food traditions Regionalne polskie jedzenie – roznorodnosci polskich tradycji
- Dairy products in Polish cuisine Produkty nabialowe w kuchni polskiej
- Pierogi – probably the most popular Polish food ever Pierogi – prawdopodobnie najpopularniejsze polskie danie
- How to make pierogi? Authentic pierogi recipes Jak zrobic pierogi? Autentyczne przepisy
- Polish sausages, charcuterie and the blood sausage Polskie kielbasy, wedliny i kaszanka
- Kielbasa – the Polish sausage Polska kielbasa
- Mushrooms in Polish cuisine. Mushroom hunting Grzyby w kuchni polskiej. Grzybobranie
- Nalewka – Polish spice, herb and fruit liqueurs Nalewki – polskie likiery ziolowe i owocowe
- Miod pitny – traditional Polish mead Tradycyjny polski miod pitny
- Flaki aka flaczki – way to heart through stomach Flaki i flaczki – przez zoladek do serca
- Ukrainian borscht – eastern version of red borschts Barsz ukrainski – wschodnia wersja czerwonego barszczu
A few introductory words about traditional Polish food
Poland is a European country with a trying history spanning over more than 1000 years. In theory, it is possible to go back to the distant times of the first princes and Kings of Poland, and look at the Polish state in the Middle Ages, and have a general image of the early culinary customs Polish food traditions, because they have partly survived throughout the centuries. Some aspects present in the modern Polish cuisine are still the same. A willingness to keep with the tradition has always been present. However, a notable part of the traditional Polish food culture transformed itself during the course of time. With the development of trade, various Polish foods and products naturally fused with one another, inspired themselves from neighboring nations, or according to the traditions of ethnic groups.
We know far more details about the history of Polish food in the next ages after medieval. The first survived Polish recipes cookbook dates back to 1682, a year when Philadelphia is founded, de La Salle claims the region of Mississippi River as La Louisiane (today Louisiana) and Halley makes the first observation of a body today known as the Halley's comet. Contemporary Polish state, called Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a multiethnic country. And Polish food was affected by strong Lithuanian and Tartar-Turkish influences. This fact exerted an additional positive effect on a wealth of tastes and a composition of the national menu. Polish food culture, as we know it today, has formed. Admittedly, over three hundred years later we can assess it empirically, and with a pleasure :) Nowadays, some courses and meals that are a base of modern and traditional Polish cuisine, are common for the West Slavonic and Central-European nations. E.g. various national kinds of beetroot borscht or dumplings are well-known not only in Poland, but also in Czech Republic, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine. On the other hand one of the most popular, simple and not time consuming Polish food – kotlet schabowy – is completely similar to a schnitzel known very well in Austria and Germany.
We know far more details about the history of Polish food in the aftermath of the Middle Ages. The first surviving Polish recipe cookbook dates back to 1682, the year when Philadelphia is founded, de La Salle claims the region of Mississippi River as La Louisiane (today Louisiana), and Halley makes the first observation of a body today known as Halley's comet. The Polish state of those days, called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was a multiethnic country. Polish food of the epoch was affected by the strong Lithuanian and Tartar-Turkish influences. This fact exerted an additional positive effect on a wealth of tastes and a compositions present in the national menu. Polish food culture, as we know it today, was in the making. Admittedly, over three hundred years later, we can assess it empirically, and what a joy it is :) Nowadays, some courses and meals that are the foundation of modern and traditional Polish cuisine, are common for the West Slavonic and Central-European nations. E.g. various national kinds of beetroot borscht or dumplings are well-known not only in Poland, but also in Czech Republic, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine. On the other hand one of the most popular, simple and not time consuming Polish food – kotlet schabowy – is completely similar to a schnitzel known very well in Austria and Germany.
How to use the Polish food list?
What you can find here is a whole range of foods with descriptions of dishes and meals, appetizers or desserts. Get to know Tasting Poland – some Polish foods are described with greater detail in separate articles – you can find them listed above. A generous selection of photographs will accompany, where available, the recipes. Indeed, a gallery of Polish food photography is on the riseon our website. Those tempted to try Slavic delicacies on their own are strongly encouraged to make use of Tasting Poland resources: some of foods descriptions are accompanied by links to our Polish food recipes. For your benefit what we have on this website is a collection of detailed, well-tried and authentic Polish recipes (I am going to publish much more in the near future). I decided to underline and describe everything essential, considering all details and tricks which are probably unknown to those who do not live in Poland. You can also look at the list of Polish foods on Wikipedia, where you can find some regional dishes & courses.
It makes sense to group Polish foods in 5 categories - Polish soups, first courses, appetizers & ingredients, drinks, desserts & sweets – all listed on the right-hand side – which constitute the typical Polish menu even nowadays. Hence, during travel to Poland one will certainly come across many of them (e.g. pierogi). I wanted this online Polish food list to be practical, so I have not ventured as far as to present historic foods (although still known, at least in theory), like a soup made of a duck blood, the so-called czernina. Its significance in today's Polish cuisine menu is already marginal. I wish you good luck with your exploration of Polish tastes and… Smacznego!
"Polish cuisine (Polish: kuchnia polska) is a mixture of Eastern European and German culinary traditions. It is rich in meat, especially chicken and pork, and winter vegetables (cabbage in the dish bigos), and spices, as well as different kinds of noodles the most notable of which are the pierogi. The traditional cuisine generally is demanding and Poles allow themselves a generous amount of time to prepare and enjoy their festive meals. Traditionally, the main meal is eaten about 2 p.m., and is usually composed of three courses, starting with a soup. The main course is usually meaty. Meals often conclude with a dessert such as makowiec." — from Wikipedia