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Polish cuisine is rich and very filling, consisting of thick soups, sauces and savoury meats which can be relatively high in fat. Favoured ingredients which give Polish food a distinct taste include dill, marjoram, flat leaf parsley, juniper berries, caraway seeds and wild mushrooms. Many Polish households prefer traditional Polish or similar cuisine but some foods popular in Australia may also be enjoyable, e.g. pizza, spaghetti, common Chinese takeaways and fried or charcoal chicken and chips.

It's worth keeping in mind that traditional Polish meal times differ from the Australian, with breakfast often consisting of bread and savouries (sausage, ham, soft-boiled eggs, cheese or cottage cheese) rather than toast and cereal. The main meal of the day is served around 2-3PM and supper (often sandwiches with cold meats) in the evening. This tradition has most likely evolved from different working hours in Poland which were 7AM-3PM and may still be preferred by some Polish people.

Some popular Polish foods include Polish sausage, smoked ham or bacon, cottage cheese, pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut, potatoes, pork or chicken schnitzels, scrambled eggs (with chives, tomatoes and onion but no milk).
Beef, chicken and pork are strongly preferred over lamb dishes. Curries and hot foods are generally not popular but salt and black pepper are used liberally.

Widely popular condiments are mustard, horseradish, grated cooked beetroot with or without horseradish in preference to tomato sauce and chutneys. Polish people like their vegetables well cooked.

Typical Polish salads are tomatoes with finely sliced onions or chives, radishes, pickled cucumbers, potato salad, Russian salad, lettuce with cream, lemon and sugar dressing, sauerkraut with chopped apple, onion and carrot.
Pumpkin, raw mushrooms, sprouts and Asian greens are not widely used. Neither are Vegemite, salted butter, peanut butter, pies, rice. Crusty continental rye bread is preferred over soft Australian sliced bread.

Some traditional Polish dishes include bigos (a rich sauerkraut and meat based dish), gołąbki literally 'little pigeons' (cabbage rolls with rice and mince meat), barszcz (beetroot soup), flaczki (tripe soup), pierogi (dumplings made with a variety of sweet or savoury fillings), dried or stewed fruit compote, a variety of yeast cakes and pastries, for example babka, kopytka (similar to gnocchi), mizeria (cucumber, dill and cream salad) and naleśniki (pancakes). Most of these are available in a majority of Polish delicatessens.

The above food preferences are to be regarded as a guideline only, and it is always advisable to ask about personal preferences. As it is the case in most communities, Polish people have varied tastes, likes and dislikes, and one must not assume that we are a homogenous group.

A variety of Polish recipes can be found by typing the phrase "Polish food" in any of the internet search engines.

Smacznego! (May your food be tasty)