Wednesday, February 26, 2020

What to Eat in Poland - 10 Dishes You Must Try!

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Little known to many is the fact that Poland has incredibly rich culinary traditions and some of the most amazing food in the world. If you're planning to visit a beautiful destination in Europe, definitely consider Poland! Come visit before the country gets too popular. Here are 10 dishes that you must try when you're in Poland!

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You can find pierogi everywhere. Savoury or sweet, pan-seared or floating in soup, pierogis are a key staple in the diet of the Poles. My favourite ones are definitely the savory ones packed with meat!

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It turns out that gingerbread originated in Poland! We visited a gingerbread museum and tried our hands at making our very own gingerbread. The museum has a little shop that sells lots of gingerbread goodies, such as chocolate coated ones! Some of the creations are pretty spicy so be sure to ask about the flavour profile before you purchase any. If you're heading to Poland, you should definitely come by here and sign up for their fun and interesting workshop!

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As the biggest exporter of goose in the European Union, Poland is certainly the place to enjoy the finest goose in all forms. Apart from the typical goose leg, or foie gras, goose can be made into pate, sausages, soup and more. My ultimate favourite goose dish in Poland was goose tartare which I tried at Palacyk Gozdawa. Come here to enjoy a culinary show where you can witness the chef strip down an entire goose to its bones, and enjoy fresh goose tartare and many more delights. Remember to make a reservation as the restaurant is not open for walk-ins. 

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The Poles love herring and carp. But they do enjoy other fish such as trout and Baltic Salmon as well. Pickling and smoking fish seem to be their preferred way of preparing their chosen catch of the day. You can try your hand at preparing your own dinner and smoking trout at Aktywna Agroturystyka. Be sure to make a reservation as they are not open to the public.

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Be sure to visit Gdansk for the freshest and most awesome seafood, and head to Pod Lososiem (a historic restaurant founded in the 18th century, for a bowl of luscious Polish Fish Soup and traditional fish dishes.

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Pickles are an essential part of Polish cuisine. You can often find gherkins and pickled cabbage in their food. At Aktywna Agroturystyka, we witnessed how pickled cabbage and pickled cucumbers are made. It was truly insightful and educational. I would never have thought that pickling vegetables is such a laborious and time-consuming task. There's a Polish tradition of getting young ladies with long legs to trample on the vegetables before they are pickled, as they believe that the pickles will be tastier this way!

Potato Pancakes
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Potato is a staple in the diet of the Poles. When the country was poor and war-stricken, people relied on potato as their main source of food. Hence, you can be sure that the Poles know how to cook their potatoes in every possible way, really well! My favourite potato dish was potato pancakes! The potato pancakes were fried really well, with a crisp exterior, and moist interior. The pancakes come with a mushroom sauce but the Poles eat this with sugar at home! I wasn't really keen to try it with sugar but as a huge potato fan, how could I not heed a recommendation from the potato experts? I'm so glad that I tried the pancakes with sugar because they were amazing!

Polish Chicken Soup
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The Poles love their soup and they usually start their meals with one. There are many different types of soups in Poland and I had the good fortune of trying a few, and this homey chicken soup is one of my favourite! The Polish Chicken Soup is a comforting creation that just warms you up immediately and reminds you of home. I had this at Aktywna Agroturystyka with some warm bread and it was just perfect.

Polish Pumpkin Soup
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I was surprised that the Poles make a mean pumpkin soup. I had a few bowls in Poland and every bowl was stellar. My favourite rendition was served at Palacyk Gozdawa. I still can't stop thinking about it. It's rich, smooth, thick, flavourful, but it wasn't at all overwhelming. I finished the entire bowl easily! It was so so good.

Polish Rye Soup
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The rye soup is a sour soup usually served in a rye bread bowl. Its white appearance may lead you to think that it's a creamy soup but it's in actual fact, not creamy at all. Its texture is more like that of a clear soup, and its taste is very unique. I find it very appetizing, because it's sour but those who don't fancy a sour soup will not take to the taste instantly.

Polish Tripe Soup 
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Tripe might not be the number one thing on most of Singaporeans' to-try list, but you should definitely include it in your list if you're travelling to Poland! The savoury soup sports a dark colour, and has a robust beef flavour. The spices used depend on the region this soup is made in. I tried the Warsaw version and it was yum!

I hope you enjoy Polish cuisine as much as I did!

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