Cultural: What do they eat in Poland?

"What do they eat in Poland?" ranks right up along with "Where is Poland?" and "What's the weather like?" as the most common questions we get asked.

If you go into a Polish restaurant and ask for a typical Polish dinner (obiad), they may bring you something like that looks like a breaded pork chop that has been pounded very thin, a huge bunch of mashed or peeled/boiled potatoes sprinkled with dill and butter, some cole slaw type salad made from cabbage and or beets and hot tea. You may have gotten a watery type soup (like chicken noodle) to start the meal with. Dessert? Well, after that huge plate of mashed potatoes, there probably isn't room, but a very typical dessert could be an apple dessert that they call szarlotka.  Skip most of the cakes - they are dry and you probably won't care for them.  Many would say they aren't very sweet, but my problem with most of the cakes for me is not the lack of sweetness or lack of vanilla in them - it's that they were cooked about 15 min. too long and are almost universally dry and crumbly.  

They eat a lot of pork - so things made from pork like Polish sausage and ham are common. Chicken is common as well. They eat duck around special holidays and they do eat some beef, but pork is cheaper - though not as much as it used to be before we joined the EU in 2004 when the rest of the Europe started buying it from the Polish farmers, driving up the prices.

Fruits and vegetables? Potatoes, beets, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, and apples, grapes, cherries, raspberries, and peaches/nectarines are grown here. These are eaten a lot. Then, of course, just as any other modern civilization, they import things they don't grow much of. So, you can pretty much buy whatever you want.

Drinks? Hot tea is their number one comfort drink. Many people drink 4-6 or even 7 cups a day. It's just what they drink. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, etc.  It's even better with one or two spoons of sugar in each cup. Many people go through a kilo or two of sugar a week just on their tea alone. Soft drinks and coffee are also common.  Bottled water has a strong place in the market as well -  carbonated water being more popular than "still" water. Juices and fruit drinks are commonly consumed as well.

Meals would often look like this: 

Breakfast - an open faced sandwich with some Polish bread (chleb) with butter a slice of ham or cheese or both, and a slice of tomato or cucumber on top. Repeat until full. Hot tea.

Lunch or dinner - the meal as described above - soup as the first course  - a watery soup not a thick stew-y type soup. Then, a main course with a meat, potatoes and a salad made like cole slaw with cabbage and carrots. Dessert - maybe. Hot tea.

Supper - a lighter fare made up of Polish sausage and or more sandwiches similar to breakfast. Maybe some fruit. Hot tea.

If you are a vegetarian in Poland - you are definitely in the minority. Most of them love their meat and their dairy products!

And now you know!

Feel free to check out the goodies my sis has for you. They are shipping from the Florida office even while my sis is with us - so never fear - her order fulfillment department is in full swing!

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