Polish cuisine - middle ages
Polish cuisine is a style of cooking and food preparation originating in or widely popular in Poland. Polish cuisine has evolved over the centuries to become very eclectic due to Poland's history. Polish cuisine shares many similarities with other Slavic countries, especially Czech, Slovak, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Russian cuisines.1 It has also been widely influenced by other Central European cuisines, namely German, Austrian and Hungarian cuisines 2 as well as Jewish,3 French, Turkish and Italian culinary traditions.4 It is rich in meat, especially pork, chicken and beef (depending on the region), winter vegetables (cabbage in the dish bigos), and herbs.5 It is also characteristic in its use of various kinds of noodles the most notable of which are kluski as well as cereals such as kasha (from the Polish word kasza).6 Generally speaking, Polish cuisine is hearty and uses a lot of cream and eggs. The traditional dishes are often demanding in preparation. Many Poles allow themselves a generous amount of time to serve and enjoy their festive meals, especially Christmas eve dinner (Wigilia) or Easter breakfast which could take a number of days to prepare in their entirety.
The Polish national dishes are bigos ?bi??s; pierogi p???r???i; kiełbasa; kotlet schabowy ?k?tl?t sxa?b?v? (type of breaded cutlet); gołąbki ???w??pk?i (type of cabbage roll); zrazy ?zraz? (type of roulade); roast (Polish: pieczeń) ?p??t????; sour cucumber soup (Polish: zupa ogórkowa) Polish pronunciation: ?zupa ??ur?k?va; mushroom soup, (Polish: zupa grzybowa) ?zupa ????b?va (quite different from the North American cream of mushroom); tomato soup (Polish: zupa pomidorowa) ?zupa p?mid??r?va;7 rosół ?r?suw (variety of meat broth); żurek ??ur?k (sour rye soup); flaki ?flak?i (variety of tripe soup); and barszcz bar?t?? among others.8
The main meal might be eaten about 2 p.m. or later. It is larger than the North American lunch. It might be composed of three courses especially among the traditionalists, starting with a soup like a popular rosół and tomato soup or more festive barszcz (beet borscht) or żurek (sour rye meal mash), followed perhaps in a restaurant by an appetizer such as herring (prepared in either cream, oil, or in aspic); or other cured meats and vegetable salads. The main course usually includes a serving of meat, such as roast or kotlet schabowy (breaded pork cutlet), or chicken. Vegetables, currently replaced by leafy green salads, were not very long ago most commonly served as surówka su?rufka ? shredded root vegetables with lemon and sugar (carrot, celeriac, seared beetroot) or sauerkraut (Polish: kapusta kiszona) ka?pusta k?i???na. The side dishes are usually boiled potatoes, rice or more traditionally kasza (cereals). Meals often conclude with a dessert such as makowiec, a poppy seed pastry, or drożdżówka dr???d??ufka, a type of yeast cake. Other Polish specialities include chłodnik ?xw?d?ik (a chilled beet or fruit soup for hot days), golonka (pork knuckles cooked with vegetables), kołduny (meat dumplings), zrazy (stuffed slices of beef), salceson and flaki (tripe).
Poland's territory extends across several geographical regions, between latitudes 49° and 55° N, and longitudes 14° and 25° E. In the north-west is the Baltic seacoast, which extends from the Bay of Pomerania to the Gulf of Gdańsk. This coast is marked by several spits, coastal lakes (former bays that have been cut off from the sea), and dunes. The largely straight coastline is indented by the Szczecin Lagoon, the Bay of Puck, and the Vistula Lagoon. The centre and parts of the north lie within the North European Plain.
Rising above these lowlands is a geographical region comprising the four hilly districts of moraines and moraine-dammed lakes formed during and after the Pleistocene ice age. These lake districts are the Pomeranian Lake District, the Greater Polish Lake District, the Kashubian Lake District, and the Masurian Lake District. The Masurian Lake District is the largest of the four and covers much of north-eastern Poland. The lake districts form part of the Baltic Ridge, a series of moraine belts along the southern shore of the Baltic Sea.
South of the Northern European Lowlands lie the regions of Lusatia, Silesia and Masovia, which are marked by broad ice-age river valleys. Farther south lies the Polish mountain region, including the Sudetes, the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland, the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, and the Carpathian Mountains, including the Beskids. The highest part of the Carpathians is the Tatra Mountains, along Poland's southern border.
About polish climate
The climate is mostly temperate throughout the country. The climate is oceanic in the north and west and becomes gradually warmer and continental towards the south and east. Summers are generally warm, with average temperatures between 18 and 30 °C (64.4 and 86.0 °F) depending on a region. Winters are rather cold, with average temperatures around 3 °C (37.4 °F) in the northwest and ?6 °C (21 °F) in the northeast. Precipitation falls throughout the year, although, especially in the east; winter is drier than summer.98