Polish regional dishes for Christmas Eve
The regional diversity of our country is something we should not only be proud of, but also care about. Traditional dishes and customs will fade with time if they are not given enough attention. The period when regional peculiarities become particularly clear is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They are therefore an excellent opportunity to realize that we do not all put the same dishes on the Christmas table and that it is worth drawing inspiration primarily from our own, extremely rich culinary culture. What do highlanders cannot imagine Christmas without and what must be on a Christmas Eve menu in Podlasie? Check it out in our guide!
Christmas Eve in Podhale
Who cares most about preserving their local identity? It seems that highlanders from Podhale lead the way in this subject. Christmas Eve in Podhale is dominated by dishes made with potatoes and regional cheeses, such as bukty (dumplings), kłóty (cabbage with potatoes) or moskol (scones made of boiled potatoes). Traditional Christmas Eve soup from Podhale is usually fasting kwaśnica, although some houses serve beet soup with beans. Christmas Eve supper in Podhale also includes fried trout, dumplings with cabbage and noodles with poppy seeds and honey. According to a custom of Podhale wafer, which is broken with the family, should also be smeared with honey.
Christmas Eve in Podlasie
Christmas Eve traditions in Podlasie were for centuries influenced by the East, especially by Lithuanian traditions. It was from Lithuania that kutia (a wheat soup with nuts, honey and poppy seeds) came to Podlasie. Apart from kutia, on the Christmas Eve table appear poppy seed dumplings poured with linseed oil, fried or boiled fish, Podlasie wareniki - dumplings with cabbage and mushrooms (fried until brown before serving), and of course yeast cakes. The most common Christmas Eve soup in Podlasie is mushroom borscht.
Christmas Eve in Masovia
Mazovia is a region full of thick forests - so it should come as no surprise that Christmas recipes are based on mushrooms. It is mostly mushroom soup and cabbage with mushrooms, but also very often simply breaded and fried mushrooms. However, one of the most important Christmas Eve dishes in Masovia were traditionally ears - poppy seed dumplings - which should be as long and thick as possible. They symbolized the next year's wheat harvest. Christmas Eve in Mazovia could not go without rwaks (boiled and ground potatoes similar to kopytek), cranberry jelly, and millet groats with oil. Today we also serve fried carp and fish in jelly. It is worth knowing that the custom of drinking dried fruit compote originated in Mazovia.
Christmas Eve in Kashubia and Pomerania
In Pomerania and Kashubia Christmas Eve dinners were always very modest. It started (and often still starts) with soup from brzad: aromatic soup from dried fruit. Later, fish - mainly herring and freshwater fish - led the way on the Christmas Eve table in various forms: as stuffing for dumplings, as a base for fish soup, in the form of spit (salted herring and potatoes), or as a separate dish. Numerous Christmas recipes inspired by Kashubian Christmas dishes can be found on many culinary websites e.g. https://www.kamis.pl/przepisy/na-boze-narodzenie.
Christmas Eve in Silesia
Christmas Eve in Silesia is celebrated in a completely different way than in Kashubia. The Christmas Eve soup used to be a soup made of linseed, but nowadays it has been replaced by an almond soup. During the Silesian Christmas Eve supper one should also not miss cabbage with peas, groats with prunes, carp stewed in beer and Silesian dumplings. A delicious complement to the Silesian Christmas Eve menu are poppy seed cakes (pieces of a yeast roll with poppy seed filling and milk) and mocha, which is a kind of gingerbread pudding soaked in currant compote.
And what traditional dishes can't you imagine Christmas Eve without?