Polish cuisine has evolved over the centuries from a mixture of exterior influences, such as Slavic, Jewish, Turkish, Germanic and Hungarian culinary traditions.
Polish chefs take their craft quite seriously; some meals take days to prepare. In general, Polish cuisine is known for its rich use of meat, especially pork, as well as cabbage and noodles or dumplings.
Like a number of other European cuisines, the most important meal of the day in Poland is lunch - often a three-course affair, beginning with soup, followed by an appetizer and a main course.
Some of the most common Polish dishes include barszcz, a beetroot soup; grochówka, pea soup; kapuśniak, sour cabbage soup; pierogi, dumplings filled with an assortment of savory or sweet ingredients, such as potatoes and cheese, and topped with sour cream; golumpki, cabbage leaves stuffed with ground meat and rice, served with sour cream or tomato sauce; kaszanka, Polish blood sausage; Sernik, cheesecake made with a Polish cheese called twaróg; and krówki, Polish fudge.
Kielbasa, sauerkraut, gherkin pickles and sour cream are the most common condiments or ingredients found in Polish specialties. In terms of beverages, Poland is a premium producer of fine vodkas. Miód pitny, mead, and wino proste, spirits made from fruit extracts, are popular Polish drinks.
Polish cuisine is one of the fastest growing ethnic cuisines, and it is unique in that many people prefer to spend a lot of time preparing, eating and enjoying their food. Polish dishes, while strong in flavor and often rustic in nature, are an excellent choice for someone looking to experiment in savory fare.