Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food · Heritage · Culture · History

Adventurous Culinary Traveler's Blog with 63 million+ reads 📧

Not the Usual List of 10 Best Polish Food Every Visitor to Poland Have to Try & Taste

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

In this list, there are off beat but memorable dishes I tasted during my recent trip, plus a few usual Polish dishes that appear in every list (flooding the internet). Ask the wait staff for these dishes, if you like to give it a try 😄 Let's dive straight into it.

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

1. Beetroot Soup. Known as barszcz (pronounced va-shhi). It's a watery soup with either beef or mushroom stock and beetroot which gave the thin light broth its colour and a sourish savoury flavour. I don't like sourish things in general but barszsz I like as the sourness is smooth and gentle on the palate. It has a homely comforting feel and appetising too when paired with meaty dishes. There's usually Polish noodles or dumplings in the soup.

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

2. Herring in Cream. Known as Śledzie W Śmietanie (pronounced sway-yup-sway-ta-near). Poles eat herring in a thousand ways, and in some form with almost every meal. Some traditional preparations, and increasingly with international influences e.g. we were served a Thai inspired spicy interpretation during our visit.

We are visiting Poland, so do go for the traditional as well. Poles like sourish things, so naturally there's herring in sour cream. It's brined herring pieces smothered in thick sour cream with raw onion rings, salt and pepper, dressed with dill and beetroot slices. It's salty and sour complemented with sweetness from the crunchy raw onion. Very cheery and pretty dish that is a great appetiser.

A post shared by Tony Johor Kaki (@johorkaki) on

3. Smoked Goat Cheese. Known as oscypek (pronounced aus-see-peck).

4. Gingerbread. Known as piernika (pronounced pierre-nika). Let's get this straight off the bat - Polish gingerbread are world best.

Vodka from Gdańsk, 
gingerbread from Toruń,
a lady of Kraków,
shoes from Warsawa,
these are the best things in Poland.

So says 17th century poet Fryderyk Hoffman and we can't disagree with him, even today. (Except that Gdańsk is now also the Polish capital of beers - we shall come to that later 🍻 )

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

Torun (north central Poland) is the capital city of gingerbread since the 13th century. Traditional Torun gingerbread is flavoured with honey and exotic spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves etc from China, the East Indies, India and Arabia. Today, Torun gingerbread retains its flavours and are made in an infinity of creative designs which are too beautiful to eat 😂

Your can learn how to make gingerbread at Museum of Torun Gingerbread 👈 click

5. Goose Tartare. Poland is the largest producer of goose in Europe, 95% of which are exported (mostly to Germany). Traditionally, Poles eat goose dishes on 11 November which is Poland Independence Day, and also St. Martin's Day.

According to legend, St. Martin was born in Hungary in 316 to a Roman officer. Following his father's footsteps, St. Martin joined the army. One cold day in Gaul, St. Martin chanced upon a half naked beggar wearing just a piece of cloth. St. Martin shared his coat with the beggar. That night, St. Martin dreamt that the beggar was Christ.

With this vision, St. Martin decided to be a priest. When the bishop died, St. Martin was nominated for bishophood. However, St. Martin was not ready for the honour and he ran away to hide in a goose farm. But, the geese made so much noise that he was quickly found and was reluctantly appointed bishop. Hence, the tradition of eating goose on St. Martin's Day on 11 November.

Goose is prepared and served in many ways in Poland, from baked to carpaccio, pate, to sausages etc. Go the whole goose hog, try goose tartare as Polish goose is top quality.

My unforgettable taste of goose tartare by Chef Piotr Lenart at Gozdawa Palace (at Łochocin) 👈 click

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

6. Goose Blood Soup. Known as czarnina (pronounced char-nee-nah). It's a dark soup, hence the name, czarnina from the Polish word for black "czarny". The main ingredients are fresh goose blood, vinegar and water, hence it is watery and tastes sourish savoury. (Vinegar prevents the blood from curdling which contrasts with the Chinese style of eating blood curd.) Czarnina is usually served with Polish noodles or potato dumplings inside (Poles like to put these in their soups). Not quite my cup of soup as I don't really like sourish things, but hey, try it if you like to bring home food stories to amaze your friends 😂 According to tradition, when a gentleman goes to a lady's home to propose marriage, and if he is served goose blood soup, the answer is no 😂

We went to popular Mokotowska 69 restaurant in Warsaw for our first dinner in Poland. For my main course, I chose Masurian Catfish as I was keen to try a local fish. This catfish came from Poland's northwest Masuria Lake District which boasts over 2,000 lakes. 🐟 The large, thick slab of grilled catfish was set on a creamy white mound of mildly spicy horseradish risotto. The fish meat browned outside was white, flaky, tender and moist inside. It tasted savoury (from seasoning) with slight earthiness and underlying sweetness. The sweet risotto grains were tender with subtle nuttiness (softer than Italian style) and the rice mound was held together by the creamy zesty horseradish sauce. 🍎 A couple of sweet crunchy balls carved from Polish Paradise apple complete the dish. 🇵🇱🍴 It was a great start to my first Polish culinary adventure. #polandtastesgood 😋 #polandfood
A post shared by Tony Johor Kaki (@johorkaki) on

7. Masurian Lake fish. When I travel, I like to look out for local seafood to try. Poland is richly blessed with many rivers, literally thousands of lakes (and the Baltic Sea).

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

A slab of pan fried zander (perch pike) fish from the Masurian Lakes served on a mound of pumpkin dumplings and a flamboyant vivid splash of dill sauce. I am not a big fan of fried fish but one of my travel mates swear that she will come back to Poland just for this dish 🐟 😮

I like my fish steamed, poached, or here in Poland, smoked or baked.

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

Leftovers don't lie. Already told you I don't like sour things.... 😅

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

8. Polish Tripe Soup. Known as flaki (pronounced flak-ki). Our host recommended this to us. Those who picked the other safer option let off wooss and ahhss... when they had their soup. Flaki on the other hand is an acquired taste - but hey, we are here for new taste experiences, so I am glad that I opted for Polish tripe soup. (Flaki means "guts" in Polish.)

Beneath that dark brown broth are slivers of tripe boiled to nearly a soft mush. It felt like a wholesome fortifying broth and it tastes robustly savoury with slight beefiness. I enjoyed it actually (coming from Singapore, tripe soup isn't that alien, as beef tripe and pig maw soup are common in Chinese restaurant menus here).

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Painting of a 18th century hawker selling flaki in the streets. Flaki is part of Polish tradition since the 14th century and loved equally by kings and commoners alike. Now, I can boast that I have eaten a Polish dish fit for kings. Flaki is also reputedly a potent hangover remedy, which brings us to the next subject.

9. Wodka (Poland's national drink, known as vodka elsewhere). Well, you are in the motherland of vodka in Poland. Polish pride in their national drink is almost ferocious and with centuries of distilling experience, you are in vodka heaven. Vodka is everywhere, all kinds of fruit, floral and spice flavours, but if you are geeky like a bit more than a nice tipple, check in at Warsaw's fascinating Vodka Museum.

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

10. Silesian Dumplings. Kluski śląskie (pronounced coos-ki-swoh-stair). Not really a dish by itself but the carb that accompanies many Polish meat dishes. Silesian dumplings are made with a blend of mashed potato and potato flour, and boiled. They have no fillings. The thumb makes a depression at the top, so that it can catch and hold sauces. Well, Silesian dumplings provide the necessary energy for the day and make any dish complete, if not taste better. I enjoyed it because of its chewy spongy bouncy spring to bite and the bit of sweetness it brings to the dish that I am having.

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

(Silesian dumpling are similar to the Hakka Chinese suan pan zi or "abacus seed" 芋头算盘子 but the dough is made with rice or tapioca flour and mashed yam. Yes, suan pan zi also has that cute depression dimple 😄 I am not surprised, if Silesian dumpling and suan pan zi are culinary siblings.)

I created a fusion dish combining Silesian dumpling and abacus seeds. It's delicious 👈 click

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

10(+1). Polish Dumplings. Known as pierogis (pronounced pierre-row-geese ). Any listicle on Polish food that does not mention pierogis is like a list on must-try Singapore food that does not mention chicken rice (a serious offence).

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

Pierogis are thinly rolled out dough stuffed with a variety of savoury or sweet fillings (in that sense, similar to their Chinese counterparts). Common fillings are ground meat, sauerkraut, mushrooms, spinach, buckwheat, potatoes, fried onions, pepper, cottage cheese etc, or combinations of these. Traditionally in Poland, pierogis are boiled, but there are baked or fried varieties.

Had various variations of pierogis everywhere I went in Poland. If you did not try any pierogis when you are here, Poles won't let you claim to have come to Poland before 😂

Pierogis are said to have come from the Far East in the 13th century and they do resemble jiao zi é¤ƒå­.

10 Polish Food Every Visitor in Poland Have to Try & Taste

My final fling in Poland.

Poland Food & Sightseeing Itinerary (Warsaw, Lodz, Torun, Gdansk) 👈 click

10 Restaurants to try in Poland (Warsaw, Lodz, Torun, Gdansk) 👈 click

Date: 15 Dec 2019

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments submitted with genuine identities are published