When I used to travel to Poland on business, I was woefully unadventurous about food. Stuck on a treadmill between meeting, hotel and airport, the easy option of the bland, unspecified generic hotel business menu was too often my point of (lack of) contact with Polish food. I now know, unsurprisingly, that there’s a rich history of regional specialities in Poland. Dealchecker’s infographic shows us what can be found, no matter where you are in the country.
Starting in the north, the country’s Baltic coast gives access to seafood, but as I’m a fan of sausages in all their forms, I like the idea of the kielbasa zywiecka, especially given that it’s cooked in beer – a truly Central European idea, but one I would definitely like to try for all that.
Moving clockwise around the compass to the Eastern regions, the sekacz cake takes my eye. Spit cakes aren’t something that I’ve come across before, and having now watched a couple of videos about making them, I can see why they’re reserved for special occasions, as they need plenty of time to make. However, I can see that the process of spooning batter onto a rotating spit as it cooks in front of a hot grill has its own mesmeric attraction. I’m not sure one can be made without the right equipment, which is a shame as I’d really like to give it a go.
The south of the country is the region for kotlet schabowy; pork tenderloin covered in breadcrumbs and fried. I’m not sure that it’s an exclusively Polish speciality, given the similarity to wiener schnitzel, but delicious for all that.
Round to the west, I love the idea (and the name) of the St Martin’s Croissant – rogale marcinskie, with its almond and poppyseed filling. I’m a fan for anything almond – marzipan, frangipane, almond croissants, and anything else I can get my hands on, really, so this has to go on the list to be tried at some point. It does need a trip, though, as they can only be made in Poznan.
A beetroot based dish does sound like a cliché, but I like beetroot, so there’s no harm in having one here, and I think that this list would be incomplete without one. Cwikla is a stewed beetroot dish, made with vinegar and horseradish; the bite from the two sound like a great addition to the sweetness of the root.
As well as regional specialities, there are also the national dishes of Poland, such as pierogi dumplings and zurek soup, but I think that the one dish that I should really have tried at least once was kielbasa a smoked sausage made with juniper. If I ever find myself back in the country, I’ll be sure to search some out. Unless I’m in Poznan, when I’ll be on a quest for rogale marcinskie – those almonds will always win.
If you fancy a trip to Poland to sample the food first hand, have a look at some of the options on DealChecker.
Post sponsored by DealChecker. All opinions our own.