Poland is located at the crossroads of historicał trade routes between Europe and Asia. Merchants from distant lands used to come to Poland for amber and to trade in exotic spices and outlandish culinary ideas. We owe some of the magnificent Polish flavours to the neighbours, but also to the minorities that have lived in Poland for centuries. Numerous influences have made Polish cuisine very rich flavours. It is not difficult to find traces of the oriental, sweet and spicy taste of Jewish cuisine. The Lithuanians taught us the unique art of dry-curing meat, giving us dried sausages such as kindziuk. Like the Ukrainians, we love dumplings. French cuisine has influenced our superb desserts.
Our native is a delicious blend of noble and peasant traditions. We have always had excellent indigenous products as well, such as Polish salt, which comes from the famous mines in Wieliczka and Bochnia near Kraków. Our forests have had an abundance of wild game and honey and it is no wonder that the Polish cuisine is so rich in game, while Polish honey is famous throughout Europe.
Today, honey is experiencing a renaissance and a number of excellent small and large apiaries produce honey of excellent quality in a variety of flavours. It is most often served with cream cheese. The forest’s bounty is evident in much of Polish cuisine. The most commonly used cereals are wheat and rye, which for centuries have been used to bake fantastic Polish breads. Our cuisine is also known for its fish, especially freshwater. Wide variety of vegetables was introduced to the Polish table by the Italian-born Polish queen Bona Sforza. They are served raw as a salad or boiled and topped with breadcrumbs browned in butter.
Our own achievement, however, is the impressive selection of soups – over 200 varieties – and pickles. Pickled cucumbers are one of the symbols of Polish cuisine.
Today, young chefs are combining the rich, centuries-old traditions of Polish cuisine with contemporary culinary trends, creating unique but typically Polish flavours. They select the best Polish products from environmentally-friendly regions where traditional farming methods are still in use.