Polish cuisine is very often named as one of the best in the world. It is very often associated with dishes that are rather stodgy, full of meat, cabbage and potatoes. Even though many of traditional Polish dishes contain those product, there is much more to them. Not many foreigners are aware how many amazing desserts, mostly cakes, there are in traditional Polish menu. Some of them are consumed all year round and some of them are strictly associated with specific time of a year or holidays.
Find out what are traditional Polish desserts, what are they made of and when it is most likely to eat them.
It is one of the most characteristic Polish cakes. Its most basic version is a simple, cottage-cheese based cake. There are tens of variations that you can try in Poland – with raisins, orange zest, fresh fruit, jelly, chocolate… It can also be baked or prepared cold. The options are endless. It can also be baked or prepared cold. It is often prepared for holidays, like Christmas or Easter, but you are also very likely to be offered a piece of cheesecake on a normal visit, to eat it with a cup of coffee.
Polish donuts are very characteristic, and for sure it is not a dessert for people who watch their weight. It is a deep fried dough, usually with a sweet filling like rose jam, toffee, chocolate or pudding. It is a very common dessert, that can be found in every bakery, but there is one particular day, when thousands of donuts are consumed in Poland. Shrove Tuesday, or in Polish “ostatki” or Fat Thursday is a last Thursday of the carnival, when people eat donuts to celebrate last days of carnival.
Another very popular cake, that appears on Polish tables. It is typically made with shortcake and apples and covered with crumble and icing sugar. Apples that the Polish apple pie is filled with are often seasoned with cinnamon, ginger or cardamom. Even though the origins of this dessert are actually French, it has gained such a popularity in Poland, that now it is definitely one of the most popular and most often eaten pie in Poland, especially in Autumn.
Mazurek is a shortcrust tart baked at Easter. It is rarely eaten during any different occasion or time. Mazurek is a traditional Easter cake. It is a very sweet dessert made of two layers – a thin, shortcake base and thick, sweet filling – chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch. It is also decorated according to the occasion with some nuts and fruit.
These is another traditional Polish dessert, this one is in form of cookies. Gingerbread cookies are characteristic for Christmas, they are also used for decorating the Christmas tree. They are made with characteristic, strong spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cardamom. They have also very strong smell, that is always associated with Christmas.
It is a cake made with dough cake and poppy seed filling, typically consumed during Christmas time. Its most traditional form is a cake roll, or sometimes as a layered cake. It is very sweet, and the filling also contains raisins, nuts, honey and almonds.
Polish cuisine is undoubtedly delicious and worth trying. While almost everybody at least knows what dumpling are, and has the general idea about what Polish food tastes like, Polish desserts don’t get that much attentions, even though they should. They are usually very sweet, delicious and they are a perfect companionship to a cup of tea or a coffee.