Polish food is one and only (but then I am a bit biased)!
As the polish lunchtime is the main meal time, this is when you often start your meal off with a soup, followed by a main course, and then of course desert.
There are loads of great soups in Poland, and most are very natural tasting and more likely to be of the crunchy variety, where you really taste the ingredients. Some are very unique such as the cucumber soup - gorgeous with scrapings of cucumber skin, while the tomato soup is very runny and often served with rice or thin noodles inside. The traditional soups for Christmas and Easter are 'Barszcz' - beetroot soup - at Christmas this is served red with dumplings inside, while at Easter it's made white with cream and has sausage pieces and egg quarters in it.
Pierogi are synonymous with traditional polish food. They can be boiled, fried or cooked in the oven. They also come in sweet or savoury varieties. 'Ruskie' (Russian) are filled with white cheese, cabbage and mushroom ones ('kapusta i grzyby') are great savoury ones, not too heavy, while the meat ones (minced meat normally) are good for meat eaters. And for the summer treat: 'Pierogi z Jagodami' (with blueberries), covered in cream. You will also find whole restaurants dedicated to dumplings ('pierogarnia') with a ton of varieties on the menu.
Polish cakes are pretty delicious. The main ones to look out for are 'szarlotka' (apple cake), 'sernik' (cheesecake), 'piernik' (honey cake), 'makowiec' (poppy seed cake) and of course 'paczki' (donuts).
'Szarlotka' is often filled to the brim with apples, with a crumbly dough on top, and if you're lucky to find a traditional one - it'll have a lovely egg maringue layer on top too!
'Sernik' is more dry than the English variety (baked), with the top being nicely browned in the oven.
'Piernik' is a lovely warming cake, and the interesting thing about it is that you can keep it around for weeks and it actually gets nicer!
'Makowiec' is a popular polish cake for New Year's Eve, as the poppy seeds are meant to signify money in the New Year! So the more poppy seeds at New Year's, the more prosperous the year will be.
'Paczki' are different to English donuts in that they're larger, crispy, covered in glaze and with real strawberry inside (less sweet than English). You can now also get them with custard inside and various other jams. They're a lovely snack and of course a must on shrove Tuesday.
There's a large variety of polish food to try out, we're sure you'll find your favourite on your visit to Poland.
Hunters' stew is a must for New Year's Eve celebrations in Poland and eaten readily during the cold winter - as it definitely warms the cockles. Made with lots of boiled cabbage, onions and sausages, it's a very hearty and tasty meal.
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