The Influence of Polish Cuisine and Traditions in American Society

Topics: Polish cuisine, Poland, Bigos Pages: 6 (2017 words) Published: December 14, 2010
Poland is situated in the very heart of Europe. The geometrical central point of the whole continent can be found in the town of Schowola in the east of the country. Poland is 1,042 years old. Officially founded in 966 when prince Mieszko I adopted Christianity as the official religion, which resulted in the new establishment of political bonds with the rest of the Europe. The population of Poland is around 38 million. The World War II toll on Poland was a staggering 6 million-including 3 million Jews slaughtered in the Nazi death camps. At present, more than 98 percent of the people are Poles, with small groups of Ukrainians, Belorussians, Germans, Slovaks and Lithuanians. Polish traditional food, a cuisine that was suppressed during Communist times, is now making a comeback. Polish Food is diverse and delicious. It is made with almost all of the four basic food groups in mind, with a little something from each in every dish (Veterano, 2008). Polish cuisine and dining table etiquette is a perfect reflection of the warmth in the Polish character. Having a meal with one's family is not just consumption of food - it is celebration. Guests are always welcomed (Grocer, 2006). Breakfasts are generally heavy with vegetables and cold cuts of meat; dinners, even more so. Only suppers are a tad lighter, perhaps, keeping in touch with the universal proverb: After dinner rest a while, after supper walk a mile. The Poles are the original potato eaters and potatoes have been the darlings of the Polish kitchens through centuries. Meat is also a mainstay (cold cuts and sausages mainly) and is grilled more or less ceremoniously at the country home, in the garden, or on the front lawn (Zamojska-Hutchins, 1985). Poland is a haven for food buffs. Polish cuisine ranges from the simple to the exotic, with a dish to suit the most eclectic and eccentric of taste buds. In Poland, you have staple foods, seasonal foods as well as territorial foods. Polish food ranges from kielbasa (Polish sausage), to Golabki (stuffed 'pigeon') and bigos (hunter's stew) to stuffed eggs, and from dumpling soup to mushrooms in sour cream. Meat is an important feature of most Polish food, so the main meal in Poland nearly always consists of some type of meat. Pork is the national meat of Poland and many main course dishes will contain it. There are also many other dishes containing meat and other dishes containing fish. These fish dishes make use of: eel, pike, perch, carp, sturgeon, sea fish, catfish and many others. There are also many desserts like poppy seed cake, crullers, royal mazurek, a dish much like a cherry pie, saffron babas, and buckwheat and raisin pudding (Veterano, 2008). Dring the Late Middle Ages, the cuisine of Poland was very heavy and spicy. The two main ingredients were meat and cereal. As the territory of Poland was densely forested, use of mushrooms, forest fruits, nuts and honey was also widespread. Thanks to close trade relations with Asia, the price of spices was much lower than in the rest of Europe, and spicy sauces became popular. With the ascension of the Italian queen Bona Sforza, in 1518, countless cooks were brought to Poland from Italy and France. If in France one cannot count all the types of cheese, in Poland the same applies to sausages and cold cuts. Polish food is a mixture of Slavic culinary which is rich in chicken, pork, and different types of noodles (Grocer, 2006). The main meal is eaten about 2pm, and is usually composed of three courses, starting with a soup, followed an appetizer, then the main course which is usually meat (Zamojska-Hutchins, 1985). Until the Partitions, Poland was one of the largest countries in the world, encompassing many regions with their own, distinctive culinary traditions. Among the most influential in that period were Lithuanian, Jewish, German and Hungarian cuisine. With the subsequent decline of Poland, and the grain production crisis that followed The Deluge, potatoes began to replace the...
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