1. Placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes)
A thin pancake made with grated onion, carrot, parsnips or other vegetables. Delicious served hot either sprinkled with sugar or dolloped with sour cream.
One of the most traditional Polish desserts, it’s a poppy seed pastry cake served at Christmas and Easter.
4. Grilled oscypek (sheep’s cheese) with bacon, grilled apple and cranberry sauce
Oscypek is a smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk that’s found exclusively in the Tatra Mountains region of Poland. Yum!
5. Barszcz (Polish red borscht)
The basic Polish borscht recipe includes red beetroot, onions, garlic, and other vegetables, such as carrots and celery or root parsley. Some versions are made with meat or bacon and served as a thicker stew. A vegetarian version of barszcz is presented as the first course during the Christmas Eve feast, served with ravioli-type dumplings called uszka with mushroom filling.
6. Bigos (a traditional meat stew)
A traditional meat stew that contains white cabbage, sauerkraut (kapusta kiszona), various cuts of meat and sausages, often whole or puréed tomatoes, honey and mushrooms, and is served with rye bread or mashed potatoes.
7. Blueberry mazurka
A decadent Polish wedding sweet treat, here made with blueberry preserves filling that’s spiked with blueberry vodka, pressed between layers of crumbly pastry made with brown sugar, walnuts, oats, flour and butter. (Recipe here by Culinary Cara.)
8. Polskie naleśniki
Thin crepes served either sweet (with cheese and jam) or savory (with meat and vegetables). Recipe here.
Light-as-air pastries served on special occasions. Recipe here.
10. Polish hot dog
Polish dogs are usually made with either kielbasa or a combination of beef and pork with some other additives that give it a taste distinct from traditional hot dogs. Sometimes cheese is put inside it. And, it’s usually larger than a regular hot dog. Yay.
Cabbage stuffed with meat and rice. According to Polish myth, the King of Poland Casimir IV Jagiello fed his army with gołąbki before a key battle of the Thirteen Years’ War. Victory stemmed from the strength of the hearty meal.
12. Kotlet schabowy (breaded pork) and potato dumplings
A Polish variety of pork breaded cutlet that dates back to the 19th century. It’s coated with breadcrumbs similar to Viennese schnitzel, but made of pork tenderloin (with the bone or without), or with pork chop.
13. Sernik (Polish cheesecake)
Made using twaróg, a type of fresh cheese. Recipe for “Krakow-style” sernik here (I think in the Polish city way, not in the Brian Krakow from My So-Called Life way).
14. Kielbasa and cabbage with buttermilk mashed potatoes
Seriously, that looks SO GOOD.
Tiny filled doughnuts traditionally served on Fat Tuesday. Recipe for vanilla custard-filled paczki here.
Homemade pasta, fried cabbage and other vegetables served with pork. Recipe (in authentic Polish) here.
17. Piernik (Polish gingerbread)
A dark and moist honey cake made with a number of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, usually served with a chocolate glaze. Mmmmm. Here’s a recipe.