History of Polish food

In order to better understand the boom and favorable opinions of today regarding Polish cuisine, we have to go back in time first… specifically hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

  •  During the Middle Ages, Polish food was characterized by being spicy and calorific, since it was based mainly on wheat, meat, fruits, herbs, honey and spices; which should be noted, grew in the Polish fields. Another characteristic of Polish food at that time is that it was eaten with the hands and was complemented with huge amounts of beer, unlike the other European countries that used cutlery and drank wine, respectively.
  •  Polish cuisine is characterized by being very varied, something that was mainly due to the strategic location of Poland and its relations with its neighboring countries over time, its strong hunting tradition and its extensive use of fruits and forest mushrooms in the saucers.
  •  The preservation of certain ingredients such as meat, fish and vegetables was done mainly with salt or sun-dried, although fermentation and pickling methods were also used.
  •  The success of Polish cuisine was also due to the enormous culinary influence of other countries during the famous partitions, as it combined good aspects of the culinary tradition of the Austro-Hungarian, German and Czech Empire.

The Art of Pickling

When the vegetable harvest season arrives in Poland, it is presumed that many local people, in their obsession, take the opportunity to buy these products in large quantities (specifically in kilograms) in order to perfect their pickling techniques to obtain better pickles and cabbages.  There are even people in certain countries who wonder how Poles can enjoy sauerkraut when, to their eyes, it looks spoiled.
However, Poles disagree with these views, as they enjoy a variety of sour dishes and delicacies, apart from the fact that sauerkraut can be found in several traditional dishes such as:

  • Soups
  • Bigos
  • Pierogi
  • Baked foods
  • Pasta (Noodles with sauerkraut and mushrooms),
  • Borscht (Uszka, patties and croquettes),
  • Salads

Apart from that, pickled cucumbers can never be absent on any major occasion in Poland, such as family dinners and parties. The same is said when combining traditional food and drinks and an example of this is the Bigos and pickled cucumbers accompanied by chilled vodka, which is considered a popular delicacy in Poland and can even be found in Polish pubs abroad.

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