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Traditional Polish cuisine

Polish borscht


Traditional Polish cuisine is made up of mostly Slavic-style foods but also shows influences from France and Italy; thanks to its location on the continent and geo-politic machinations across the centuries, its national cuisine shares quite a few similarities with other Central European as well as Eastern European traditions.

When viewed from a modern perspective traditional Polish food is basically a caloric bomb, however this notwithstanding, it is surely at least worth a try. It tends to rely heavily on meat, especially pork, chicken and beef – this depends on the region as in most other countries, with a second focus being on winter vegetables and spices; it is the use of these spices and herbs that make Polish dishes have a unique taste, but more on that later. As a good rule of thumb, most traditional Polish food will be hearty, to say the least, but it will also be flavorful and complex.

Soups are a major component of Polish dishes, however what most people relate to Polish food is sausages, so let’s talk a bit about sausages and meat in general.


Sausages and meat

These are the true Polish specialities, and there’s a good reason why they are well-known around the world. They have been using ancient methods of smoking their products and traditional recipes to make them for centuries. The smoke is usually that of juniper or other aromatic fruit trees, and this lends a lot of aroma to the final product.

This treatment is not exclusive to sausages however, the well prepared hams, loins and bacons are wonderfully smoked as well and feature a delicate taste.

Bigos is one of Poland’s traditional dishes and it features sausage and meat prominently, alongside other staples of Polish cuisine such as cabbage and mushrooms – it is known as the hearty hunter’s stew, meant to be a meal in itself. Obviously there are many variations of the recipe, but those are the broad strokes of it.



Meat may be what’s most well-known about Polish cuisine, but bread is an important food staple all throughout Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, and as such it is a speciality in Poland as well. The Polish main bread speciality is rye wholemeal bread. It is extremely delicious and very good for one’s health, containing a lot of fiber and minerals, so it helps to counteract to some degree the effects of the meat-heavy diet.

Obviously as you’ve surely notices in our other articles about traditional cuisine from around the globe, there’s so much more to each place than just what we mention here, Poland is no different, make sure to try out as many of their dishes as possible if you go there on holiday.


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