Hidden European Food

Hidden Eurofood: Polish Pomerania

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Polish cuisine is among the most eclectic in Europe, with influences from German, Austrian and Hungarian culinary habits, and some Jewish cuisine in the mix. It is very rich in meat, especially pork, with beef and chicken as runner-ups.

Cream and eggs are also common. A typical, main meal is usually made of three courses: first comes a soup, followed by a meat dish like the roast or the “kotilet schabowy”, prepared with pork meat and vegetables like sauerkraut (kapusta kiszona in Polish). Very traditional dishes are also the kielbasa (sausages) of various types and Polish smoked cheese: the Oscypek. A sour rye soup, called zurek, is typical of the holidays. At the end of the meal, desserts are served, such as poppy seed pastry or the “makowiec”, a poppy seed roll. Worthy of mention is also Sernik, a cheesecake prepared with  twaróg cheese and vanilla, orange peel or lemon peel.

Traditional Polish alcoholic beverages include mead, beer and, obviously, wodka. According to some sources, early production of wodka took place in Poland as early as the 8th Century! It would take until the 16th Century for it to reach critical mass.

As a historical region that straddles Germany and Poland, Pomerania is one of Europe’s most intriguing culinary regions. Pomeranian cuisine is characterized by the fish of the Baltic Sea, the renowned Pomeranian goose and sugar beet, which are mainly produced in local farms.

Farmers in Pomerania usually preserve products like vegetables, fruits, and lard (in addition to sugar beet) in the village smokeries, or in their own homes. As always, food acquires cultural relevance, and the clearest manifestation in this case is the West Pomeranian Potato Museum – or Vorpommersches Kartoffelmuseum! Potatoes here are called Tüften. One of the most common dishes is the Gänse-schwarzsauer, a traditional Black bread pudding, or the Rote Grütze.




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