Zakopane – A lesson in Polish cuisine

When planning your vacation to Zakopane, you probably are concentrating on the activities that you will be doing once you arrive.  Lying at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, Zakopane is known for its excellent skiing, snowboarding and mountain climbing.  The views are breathtaking and the entertainment possibilities are endless.  However, while you are enjoying your visit to Zakopane, do not miss the opportunity to sample some traditional Polish dishes. 

Several restaurants in Zakopane serve traditional Polish dishes. You will find that the main ingredients in Polish cooking are sauerkraut, beetroot, sausages, gherkins (cucumbers), mushrooms, sour cream and kohlrabi.  Spices such as dill, caraway and marjoram are used to flavor traditional dishes.  As a visitor to the region, you will want to try some Polish dishes to truly get a flavor of the country and its people.  Some popular Polish dishes to try include:

  • Kotlet schabowy – A traditional breaded pork cutlet, tender and easy on the pallet for beginners.
  • Bigos – This traditional dish is a seasoned “hunter” stew that is made with chunks of various meets and sausages combined with sauerkraut.
  • Chlodnik litewski – Originally from Lithuania, this is a cold yoghurt and beetroot soup that is traditionally served with a hardboiled egg.
  • Smalec – This falls into the category of Hors d ‘Oeuvres and consists of partially double-fried lard mixed with onion, marjoram and at times apples or prunes.  The spread is served with bread and pickled cucumbers.
  • Boczek ze śliwką – This is another Polish Hors d ‘Oeuvres and is simple yet unique – – bacon stuffed with prunes.
  • Zrazy zawijane – A favorite dish of many, this entrée is beef rolled into small sections, stuffed with bacon, a gherkin and onion or red pepper, and served in a spicy sauce.
  • Kiełbasa – A trip to Zakopane would not be complete without sampling some of the famous Polish sausages.  We suggest a white sausage paired with pickled cucumbers (gherkins) and a beer.
  • Pierogi – For the vegetarians in your group, they should try these traditional small white dumplings (they are larger than the average ravioli) that are filled with sauerkraut, mushrooms, cheese and potatoes. They can also be made with fruit.
  • Naleśniki – This is another vegetarian dish that is similar to crepes.  They are omelettes stuffed with fruit, jam and cottage cheese.
  • Makowiec – This tasty dessert is a sweet poppy cake.

The restaurants in Zakopane offer a variety of international cuisine; however, consider choosing one that offers some of these traditional dishes.  You will not regret trying the local cuisine before returning home.

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One Response to Zakopane – A lesson in Polish cuisine

  1. sophie says:

    My husband loves to try food from different countries (I prefer to stick with American cuisine). Some of these dishes sound very appealing. I searched for the recipes and found them online. My husband wants to try a couple of them for a dinner party we are having next month. I hope that they will taste as good as they sound.

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