Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Western PA Ethnic Cooking - Polish - Part 11 - old recipes, photos & modern day recipe links

Old immigration photos (food below)



1870's. The Russian controlled part of Poland grew exponentially in population so the jobs were scarce so the Polish were forced to leave the country to find work.  First they went to Brazil, Bosnia and the US.

More immigration photos (food below)



1910. The second wave of immigrants came to the US measured over 20,000. They came for STEADY INCOME.  Other group of Poles were the Austrian, German and Russian Poles.

History of Polish Food
  • Early foods included lots of grains like rye, wheat, millet, grain, barley and buckwheat groats
  • 18th century - potatoes introduced (the potatoes mixed with sour cream was a mainstay of the country table
  • Cabbage is one of the oldest Polish foods
  • Soups are a Polish special and one of the great ones is Kapusniak, a fresh cabbage or sauerkraut dish with bone marrow, meat and dried mushrooms
  • Eel and herring are favorites and served fresh, salted, smoked, pickled or combined with other foods
  • No Christmas Eve supper or other important meals would be complete without mushroom soup. 
  • Dried Polish mushrooms, exported to western Europe and America are sought-after delicacies
  • Honey was a precious food and beekeeping became an occupation
  • Polish honey cakes and cookies have become world famous
  • Poles ate a lot of game and wild birds fond in the forests.  Hunting: duck, venison, pheasant was considered an art. 
  • The wild pig after being domesticated became an important food.
  • The Polish hams and sausages (kielbasi) are rated at the top!
  • (I grew up on great homemade kielbasi - brother-in-law was Polish and liked to make his own!)
  • Spices: All members of the onion and dill was very important.
  • Later, added cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, cloves, saffron, anchovies, capers, lemon and horseradish (Slav favorites)

  • Polske Paczki or Polish Donuts

  • Bialy Barszcz or White Borscht

  • Bigos or Hunter's Stew

  • Konserwowane Brzoskwinie or Brandied Peaches

  • Pierogies






Darkest red represents current Polish ethnic population in USA. 

No comments:

Post a Comment