What do people eat in Poland for Easter?
Similar to Christmas, there are some very specific dishes that are enjoyed in Poland on Easter.
Many believe that the foods served at Easter represent certain religious themes:
- Eggs - symbolize life and the resurrection of Christ
- Bread - symbolic of Jesus
- Lamb - represents Christ
- Salt - represents purification
- Horseradish- symbolic of the bitter sacrifice of Christ
- Ham - symbolic of joy and abundance
Read on to find recipes for traditional Polish Easter dishes!
Polish Easter Recipes
1. Biała kiełbasa
It wouldn't be Easter in Poland without biała kiełbasa. Biała kiełbasa is an a sausage usually made from unsmoked pork, beef, and veal, which is then covered in a pork casing and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and marjoram. It is commonly served in żurek (see next recipe) or eaten on the side. In this recipe, the kiełbasa is baked with onions and peppers. We guarantee you will enjoy it!
Żurek (pronounced zhu-reck), is a very traditional sour Polish soup that is made from a homemade or store bought sourdough rye starter. Żurek is eaten year-round in Poland, not only at Easter. This soup is often served with a boiled egg and biała kiełbasa.
3. Deviled Eggs
You will find eggs in some form or another on every Polish Easter table. Eggs are symbolic of new life and the resurrection of Christ. Eggs are often boiled, stuffed, or fried. In this recipe, Polish Your Kitchen, shows four different ways to cook up deviled eggs.
Śledź (pronounced shledzh), is very popular in Poland, just as it is in other Scandinavian countries. It's often served on holidays or other special occasions. It is served in small filets that have marinated in vinegar and oil. This recipe uses herring mixed together with apples and onions.
Chrzan (pronounced hzhan) is the Polish word for horseradish. It is grated and usually made into a sauce or a spread that is served on bread or meat. This quick and easy recipe will be a great addition to your Easter table.
6. Chicken in Gelatin (Galaretka z Kurczaka)
In this recipe, Anna from Polish Your Kitchen describes that her husband endearingly calls this galaretka "chicken jello," which is hilarious because this is what Elizabeth calls it! This very Polish recipe is commonly served on holidays and at other special events. It may look very odd to the average American, but it really is yummy!
7. Vegetable Salad (Sałatka Jarzynowa)
Vegetable Salad is one of Elizabeth's favorite Polish side dishes. It feels similar to an American potato salad, but it really is so much better! Everyone prepares this salad a little differently according to their family's preferences. This recipe is an excellent foundation to get you start in creating your own!
8. Chicken Pate (Pasztet z Kurczaka)
Pasztet isn't for everyone, but it is one of Damian's favorite foods from home. He enjoys it year round, often spreading it on bread or crackers. This recipe takes a little time to to make, but it will be a great addition to your Easter table.
Sernik (pronounced sair-neek) is a creamy, rich cheesecake that is different from the traditional American style due to the type of cheese used. In Poland, it is made using twaróg, which is a little similar to ricotta but is denser, sweeter, and smoother. Another difference from American cheesecake is that it uses much less sugar so you can really taste the cheese. This recipe actually links to a recipe for making twaróg in case you can't find it in your local Polish market.
Mazurek (pronounced ma-zoo-rek), is a flat cake that can be made from different types of dough with different types of toppings. These cakes are often elaborately decorated and are usually only served at Easter.
Babka is a Polish sweet yeast bread similar to the Italian panettone. It is a tall, no-knead yeast cake that is baked in a bundt pan. It is often covered with a rum syrup and drizzled with icing. The word babka is derived from the Polish word for grandmother (babcia). It is thought the name comes from the shape of the cake, which resembles that of a grandmothers pleated skirt.
Makowiec (pronounced ma-ko-viets) is another Polish desert that is enjoyed year-round. It is a long cake that looks similar to a strudel that is filled with poppyseeds. Makowiec is a lightly sweet and flavorful dessert, that is sometimes covered with a light icing.
Happy Easter and Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych!
We hope this list of recipes will be useful in your Easter meal planning. Contact us if you have any questions!
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