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Polish cuisine
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Polish cuisine

Polish cuisine is a mixture of Slavic and foreign culinary traditions.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Famous all-national dishes
3 Regional cuisine
4 See also:

History

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages the cuisine of Poland was very heavy and spicy. Two main ingredients were meat (both game and beef) and cereal. As the territory of Poland was densely forrested, usage of mushrooms, forrest fruits, nuts and honey was also widespread.

Thanks to close trade relations with the East, the prices of spice (such as juniper, pepper and nutmeg) were much lower than in rest of Europe and the usage of spicy sauces became popular. Their main purpose was to neutralize the odour of non-conserved meat.

Most popular beverages were beer and mead, however in 16th century upper classes started the import of Hungarian and Silesian wines. Also, vodka became somehow popular, especially among lower classes.

Renaissance

With the ascension of queen Bona Sforza, 2nd wife of Sigismund I of Poland, in 1518, countless cooks were brought to Poland from Italy and France. This started a period which saw extensive addition of vegetables usage, most notably lettuce, leek, celery and cabbage. Until now the leeks, carrots and celeries are known in Polish as włoszczyzna, which refers to Włochy, Polish name of Italy.

The Republic

Until the Partitions, Poland was one of the biggest countries in the world, populated by many nations with their own, distinctive culinary traditions. Among the most influential in that period were Lithuanian, Turkish and Hungarian cuisine. With the decline of Poland and grain production crisis that followed the Deluge, potatoes started to replace the traditional usage of cereal. Also, because of numerous wars with the Ottoman Empire, coffee became popular.

Partitions

Under the partitions, cuisine of Poland became heavily influenced by cuisines of the surrounding empires. This included Russian and German cuisines, but also culinary traditions of most nations of the Austro-Hungarian empire. In the Russian-occupied part of the country, tea became popular and replaced the until-then popular coffee.

XIX century also saw the creation of the first Polish cook-book by Lucyna Ćwierciakiewiczowa;, who based her work on XVIII century diaries of the szlachta.

Famous all-national dishes

soup

main course

desserts

ingredients

beverages

Regional cuisine

A list of dishes popular in certain regions of Poland:

Galicja

Eastern Poland

North

Masovia (including Warsaw)

Masuria

Pomerania

Silesia

Tatra mountains

Wielkopolska (Grand Poland)

See also: