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  Polish Cuisine

Polish food may not be as famous as say the French or Italian cuisine, but the Polish certainly have very distinct dishes. Centuries ago Poland was very big and powerful. People from all kinds of nationalities lived there, and it had its influence the kitchen. From Hungarian Goulash to French pastry, Italian salads to Ukrainian beet soup, " borscht" . The Polish have derived their own versions of these well-known dishes, and made them their own.

Poland is famous for their inventive use of simple, fresh ingredients. Often recipes have remained unchanged for centuries, although there are many regional varieties.

Polish people really like their food, and both making the main dish and eating their festive meals can take many hours. Some special meals may even take days to prepare. Many meals include a variety of meat, but not always. Most Poles are Roman Catholic, who observe fast days. During these days they do not eat meat, and mushrooms and/or fish are being used as substitutes.

Bigos is one of the most famous Polish main courses, with a long history. Many consider it to be the Polish national dish, and it is believed to have been around since the late 14th century. This hunters' stew of meat and cabbage is made of sauerkraut and sweet cabbage, several kinds of meat, wild mushrooms, onions and seasoned with spices and fruit like peppercorns, apples, dried plums, juniper berries. Recipes vary widely as one would expect of a main course of such long history. Polish dishes are usually very rich in meat, and the Polish national dish Bigos is no different. Recipes can include pork, venison, steak and kielbasa - the well-known spicy Polish sausage.

If you want to impress your family and friends with Bigos you better take the time to prepare it: Bigos needs no fewer than three days to reach full flavor.

Other well-known main courses include pierogi (dumplings), roast duck with apples, golabki (stuffed cabbage rolls) and breaded pork cutlet (kotlet schabowy). Vegetables are often eaten in a shredded fashion, either as sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) or shredded root vegetables with lemon and sugar.

And you don't have to go to Poland to get to know these Polish main dishes just get a books from the library or Amazon, or search online for " Polish cuisine" or " Polish recipes" and you will get more ideas than you will be able to execute.

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