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Traditional Polish food is a blend of Slavic influences, while it also shares roots with French and Italian cuisines

The most typical ingredients used in Polish cuisine are sauerkraut, beetroot, cucumbers (gherkins), sour cream, kohlrabi, mushrooms, sausages and smoked sausage. A meal owes it taste to the herbs and spices used; such as marjoram, dill, caraway seeds, parsley, or pepper. 

Most Polish meals start with one of Poland's many soups. These range from clear broth to thick soup so hearty it could be a meal in itself.  Barszcz, a bright red fermented beetroot soup, is often served with beans for festive occasions, as is Żurek, a soup made of sour rye flour and boiled meat. A hearty hunter's stew, bigos is the national dish of Poland, made from a combination of cabbage, mushrooms and various meats. 

Meat is an important part of the Polish diet. Pork is the most popular meat, and the most commonly eaten meat dish is a fried, breaded pork cutlet served with thick sauce. Beef, ham, and sausage are also eaten regularly. Polish dishes are golabki(cabbage leaves stuffed with ground meat and rice) and golonka (fresh ham served with horse-radish). Poles also like to eat smoked and pickled fish, especially herring.

Polish cuisine is also renowned for its distinctive dumplings, especially pierogi, dough filled with minced meat, brined cabbage, mushrooms, potatoes, onions and cottage cheese. 

Poles love desserts, especially cakes. Popular cakes include cheesecake, sponge cake, poppy seed cake, and a pound cake called babka. Special cakes are baked for feast days and weddings. Meanwhile, popular desserts include pastries and cakes, commonly made from yeast dough; including Polish doughnuts, paczki, stuffed with jam, chocolate or even liqueur. 

Popular beverages include coffee, tea, milk, buttermilk, and fruit syrup and water. However, vodka distilled from rye is known as the national drink. One of Poland’s most famous specialties is clear vodka, traditionally enjoyed neat, without ice or mixers. 

This information has been sourced in part from:          

SBS Australia

Stay Poland

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