A Culinary Journey Through Poland



From Savory Pierogi and Hearty Bigos to Flavorful Kielbasa and Sweet Pączki, Explore the Authentic Dishes that Define Poland’s Culinary Heritage

A Culinary Journey Through Poland: Exploring the Top Traditional Dishes

Poland’s cuisine is a delightful exploration of flavors and history, blending rich traditions with influences from neighboring countries. Each region boasts its own specialties, but certain dishes are beloved nationwide. Here’s a guide to the top foods that you must try when visiting Poland.

1. Pierogi: These stuffed dumplings are the quintessential Polish comfort food. Traditionally filled with potato and cheese, sauerkraut, or ground meat, pierogi can also be found with more modern fillings like strawberries or spinach.

2. Bigos: Often referred to as the national dish of Poland, bigos is a hearty stew made of sauerkraut and fresh cabbage mixed with a variety of meats. The dish is richly flavored with spices, often simmered over several days to enhance its taste.

3. Żurek: This sour rye soup is a Polish classic, especially popular during Easter. Żurek is made with fermented rye flour, white sausage, and boiled eggs, often served in a bread bowl.

4. Kotlet Schabowy: A Polish take on the breaded cutlet, kotlet schabowy is a pork schnitzel that’s coated in breadcrumbs and fried to a golden crisp. It’s a simple but beloved dish, typically served with potatoes and cabbage.

5. Placki Ziemniaczane: These potato pancakes are crisp and delightful, often served with a dollop of sour cream or apple sauce. In some regions, they might come topped with goulash, making for a more hearty meal.

6. Barszcz: Beetroot soup that comes in many forms, from clear, consommé-style broths to thicker, heartier versions laden with vegetables. Often, especially at Christmas, it’s served with small dumplings called ‘uszka’ (little ears).

7. Gołąbki: Translating to “little pigeons,” gołąbki are cabbage rolls stuffed with minced pork or beef and rice or barley, then baked in a tomato-based sauce.

8. Oscypek: A smoked cheese made from salted sheep’s milk, originating from the Tatra Mountains region. It has a distinctive shape and flavor and is often grilled and served with cranberry sauce.

9. Paczki: These Polish doughnuts are a pre-Lenten tradition but enjoyed year-round. Deep-fried and filled with jam or another sweet filling, paczki are a dusted with sugar and are indulgently satisfying.

10. Sernik: Polish cheesecake, which is denser than its American counterpart, is made with twaróg, a type of fresh cheese. Sernik can be found in various flavors, often topped with fruits or a chocolate drizzle.

Each of these dishes tells a story of Poland’s cultural heritage, making them not only a pleasure to eat but also a part of the journey through the nation’s history and traditions. Whether you’re dining in a grand restaurant or a humble milk bar, these foods offer a taste of the true essence of Polish cuisine.