Polish Food- Not Recommended for Those on a Diet

Polish food, typical of the East and Central European cultures I have encountered so far, is heavy but delicious.  The most typical ingredients used in Polish cuisine are sauerkraut, beetroot, cucumbers, sour cream, kohlrabi, mushrooms, sausages and smoked sausage.  Meals in a restaurant come in courses starting with homemade soup and contain large portions.  Although I did notice two vegetarian restaurants in Krakow, salads in Poland are not the same as the lettuce-based American salads.  Basically, avoid Poland if you are on a diet but you will definitely miss out.

Here are pictures of a few mainstream Polish dishes… just to make sure my Babcia in America cooked authentically.


First, Gołąbki.  These cabbage “parcels” are originally from Lithuania but are popular  in Poland.  The cabbage is stuffed with they are usually stuffed with meat and rice and either topped with a mushroom cream sauce or a tomato sauce.  Many East/Central European countries have their own version.  In Serbia, these are called sarma.  In Polish, golabki literally means “little pigeons.”


Next we have the shaslik… which is pretty basic and common on the menus here.  It’s really just a shish kebab and often contain either pork or chicken.  Here it came with frytki and a salad.  The salad is primarily cabbage.


Lastly, the pierogi.  This is probably the most well-known Polish dish.  Every Wigielia (Christmas Eve) my family eats pierogi that my Babcia makes from scratch, expertly preparing the dough with years of experience. Pierogi were traditionally peasant food but eventually grew in popularity for all social classes. They are very traditional small white dumplings, larger than ravioli, filled with sauerkraut, mushrooms, meat, cheese and potatoes or even with fruit. My favorite kind are ruski (pictured) which are filled with potato and cheese and served with fried onions.


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