Tradition and modernity

At New Poland, an incoming tour operator founded and run by food lovers, we believe that gastronomy is an essential dimension of a journey and a key to discovering a country. It takes more than one trip to explore Polish cuisine, in which modern creativity complements the rich traditions…

Traditional cuisine

Traditional Polish cuisine reflects the history of the country, with the development of the different Polish regions and the influence of the different populations that settled in Poland – Turkish and Tatar, Mongolian, Russian, German and Jewish. Some of the foreign monarchs who reigned in Poland also brought new eating habits to the country, for example Italian with Bona Sforza or French with Henri de Valois.

Traditionally, Polish cuisine uses a lot of potatoes and wheat in its various forms (gruel, flour, bread). Pierogi (ravioles stuffed with various ingredients ranging from meat and cabbage to mushrooms and fruits) might be the best known Polish dish. Meat dishes are based mainly on pork, poultry and game. Sea products occupy relatively little space (with the notable exception of herring) and fish are mainly freshwater fish. The forest is present, with mushrooms, berries and nuts. The cabbage is used a lot (in Winter try the bigos, the Polish sauerkraut), as well as the bettrave (we recommend the bortch, bettrave soup). In summer, fruits are everywhere, including pasta (with strawberry coulis), pierogi (ravioli stuffed with blueberries, cherries or plums) and even soups (with strawberries or cherries).

A modern approach

During the last couple of decades the Polish culinary scene has evolved significantly. Many new restaurants have opened, with a vastly diversified offer spanning various national and international cuisines as well as a new approach to the Polish cuisine. Young chefs use modern techniques to revisit old products and recipes, often with spectacular results. Traditional dishes take on a new look, are enriched with new ingredients and offer new flavours. Forgotten ingredients are reintroduced, the emphasis is increasingly on seasonal and locally sourced products. First Michelin stars appear in the country and international culinary critics increasingly recognise the potential of the modern Polish cuisine.

Taste, responsibly (or not)

Some of the Polish food products and specialties are world famous. Polish vodka, of which the buffalo grass (Zubrowka) is among the most popular varieties, is a good example. Although a great thing to do during a trip to Poland, (responsible) vodka tasting is but one of the culinary activities which should be part of the programme. Visitors will also have the opportunity to discover dishes and products that will delight the palate. Here are some suggestions:
schabowy: the big classic of Polish cuisine, breaded pork cutlet served with potatoes and cooked cabbage
barszcz z uszkami: a bortch (beetroot soup) accompanied by small ravioli stuffed with meat
pierogi: their shape and the dough used look like ravioli, they can be stuffed with meat, cottage cheese (possibly mixed with mashed potatoes), cabbage and mushrooms, fruits (blueberries, cherries .. .). Also try the more modern versions (and probably lighter) stuffed with spinach, for example.
cakes: the cheese cake, offered with several variations; the poppy one, rolled with the delicious mixture of honey, poppy, walnut, almonds, candied orange; or the gingerbread …