Traditional Polish cuisine includes Polish sausage (kielbasa), red beet soup (barszcz), duck blood soup (czernina), Polish dumplings (pierogi), cabbage rolls (golabki), Polish pork chops (kotlety schabowe), Polish stew (bigos), various potato dishes, as well as desserts like Polish doughnuts (paczki) and Polish gingerbread (pierniki).
Since its beginning thousands of years ago, the country of Poland has practically been obliterated on many occasions. Its borders, at one time, stretched from the banks of the Oder in Germany to the Dnieper in Russia, and from the Baltic Sea in the north, to the Black Sea in the south.
Bit by bit, Russia, Prussia, and Austria ate away at Poland's borders until in 1795, Poland had been literally erased from the map as a nation. After WWI, Poland was reborn, only to be brought to the edge of oblivion once again 20 years later. Miraculously, Poland survived. It was reconstituted by the Allied powers of WWII into almost 121,000 square miles of land wedged between Germany and Russia, where it stands today. The nation of Poland has endured. And with it, the people of Poland, their language, customs, and cuisine.
Poland's vibrant cuisine has been influenced throughout its history by the Germans, Hungarians, Austrians, Russians, and Jews. Oddly enough, much of the food in Poland has Italianate names. The tomato is called pomidor in Polish and pomodoro in Italian. Likewise, cauliflower is kalafior in Polish, and cavolfiore in Italian.
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This page modified January 2007
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