Monday, 25 July 2011

Poland and Polish Food

The people of Poland are known for more than just polish jokes. One of the things Poland is famous for is Polish food. From meats and soups to their pastry deserts, their culture is known for their amazing recipes.
In the early ages Poland was not known for its food due to the climate. The Polish winters were harsh and their summers are not too fair. Because of this climate the Poles were very limited on the plants they could grow and the animals they could raise. One of the first things the Poles learned to do was make bread. As described by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn the author of the article “Old Polish Cuisine-History of Food in Poland”, making bread is almost religious to the Poles. They saw it as bad luck to throw away bread. Bread in Poland is still blessed at dinner during the holidays of Christmas and Easter and is also made with a design of a cross on it many times. Bread is also given with salt as a gift to newly married Polish couples upon entering their new home. Even in modern day these practices are still practiced a lot and now with the advances in farming and agriculture they are able to grow more plants and make more items. Along with their new plants they also are able to grow crop to feed animals. This allowed them to start raising different kinds of live stock in Poland.
Probably one of the most famous Polish foods is their meats. From early one The Poles loved eating all kinds of meats. Poultry, beef, pork, and also game meat such as wild birds were very popular in early Poland. Nobles would often be the ones who ate most of the meats due to their wealth but game birds and animals were found very cheap if people were able to hunt them. The most popular game to eat was wild bird. Peasants were among these popular birds and today are still one of the most hunted wild birds in the world. But probably the most famous Polish meat in the world is kielbasa. This is a Polish sausage that is very popular in the United States. This is mostly seen at the beginning of fall in county fairs and throughout the winter season. Kielbasa is also one of the regular items on Country Fair’s roller grill. The national meat in Poland is pork. Pork is used in many of their recipes and is known to be very delicious when it is prepared about two days before so it can be re heated at a low temperature just before eating.
A food that is very popular also in Poland due to the cold weather and brutal winters is soup. Many of the soups are known on a national level to Poles and are not very popular outside of Poland. The more popular soups outside of Poland are the kielbasa soup and their chicken noodle soup. Most of the national soups have a good amount of broth and it is usually meat broth. Also in the soups the Poles love adding chunks of meat like their kielbasa and pork. Also vegetables are very common in Polish soups and on the side.
The most popular Polish vegetable side dish is sauerkraut. Sauerkraut originally was made in Germany and once it made its way to Poland the Poles found it went very well with their meats. Sauerkraut is made from cabbage and the Poles used cabbage in many of their recipes not just as sauerkraut. Other vegetables used in Polish meals include carrot roots, potatoes, pickles, and horseradish. Potatoes were actually not used in early Polish cooking. They were actually not even discovered in Poland until after Christopher Columbus found America. Potatoes are now one of the main bases in Polish cooking . Vegetables were actually very limited in early Poland until Bona Sforza, an Italian wife of a Polish king brought them to the country. Because of this many of the Polish vegetable terms sound Italian.
Now all around the world Polish restaurants can be found. These can be seen in little diners or in high class five star restaurant style. Also there are cooking schools and establishments for teaching people how to cook Polish recipes. This is the same for every nation and now the only thing that is keeping the food tied to their nation is the name.

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