Friday, 3 March 2017

An Introduction to Polish Food With Polish Village Meals

When I was offered some food to review I was excited for 3 reasons: I’m a big fan of food, an even bigger fan of eating food, and it was a selection of Polish food which I have never tried before. I love to try new dishes so with no idea what I would get I waited eagerly for the delivery.

Lots of plastic boxes with preprepared polish food in, in front of a bag saying Polish Village Bakery and a jigsaw of a giraffe made from bread


What is Traditional Polish Food?


Popular dishes include bigos (also known as “hunters stew”), kotlet schabowy (breaded pork cutlet), pierogi (dumplings) and gołąbki (stuffed cabbage leaves).

The dishes are influenced by several countries and cultures including Germany, Austria and Hungary. From what I can gather typical ingredients used in Polish food are: sauerkraut (shredded cabbage), beetroot, potatoes and other root vegetables, gherkins, sausage, mushrooms, pork, chicken, beef, with herbs including dill and marjoram and bread (often rye based with a sour dough starter). 

Polish Village Meals


Our generous parcel of food came from Polish Village Meals who use traditional Polish recipes to make food with fresh ingredients and without preservatives. Polish food can be time consuming to prepare so having the ready made meals which are quick to cook is a great way to enjoy the hearty cuisine. I found the food perfect for cold winter days as it was warm and filling, it’s a brilliant comfort food.

The food is tasty and quick to reheat. While I can't comment on how authentic it tastes the popularity and customer demand suggests that the food compares well to home cooking. The Polish Village Meals prepared food is stocked in polish shops and delicatessens all over London and the UK, the nearest to me is Delikateski on Woodford Avenue near Gants Hill station.

We were sent:

  • Bigos (A cabbage stew with pork and spices)
  • Sautéed cabbage
  • A variety of stuffed pancakes
  • Breaded chicken breast topped with mushroom and cheese
  • Golabki (cabbage leaves stuffed with Rice and Pork)
  • A variety of pierogi (dumplings)
  • Fruit cake

They also make a range of other dishes including: ravioli, stews and a huge variety of breads from Polish Village Bread.

Trying The Dishes


Bigos 
As soon as I tried this stew it brought back memories of my childhood. The rich pork flavouring tasted exactly like the home made minestrone soup my Grandmother used to make. It’s primarily shredded vegetables (Cabbage, carrot, onion and mushroom) in a rich stock with pork pieces. I cooked it in the microwave for a few minutes.

A small white bowl with a blue pattern with shredded cabbage, sausage and other ingredients which make up bigos

Sautéed Cabbage
A slightly sweet mix of carrot and cabbage this made a nice accompaniment to the pierogi. It cooked well in the microwave (make sure to put it in a microwavable container first).

A red patterned bowl with shredded cabbage and carrots in a liquid


Stuffed Pancakes
The pancakes are wrapped in a parcel around a variety of fillings and then covered in breadcrumbs. Our favourite was mushroom and cheese. I shallow fried the pancakes to make the breadcrumbs golden and crispy.

Little parcels of rolled up pancake covered in golden bread crumbs with a chopped up mushroom filling

Breaded Chicken Breast
A bit like a pizza with a breadcrumbed chicken base these were popular with my eldest daughter. I shallow fried the chicken to give it a bit of a crunch.

Close up of a flatterned piece of chicken covered in breadcrumbs with melted cheese covering mushrooms and peppers

Gołąbki
The cabbage leaves are wrapped around a filling of rice, pork and spices. These were one of my favourite dishes. I shallow fried the gołąbki, but I think they would taste equally good microwaved.

Rolled up parcels of white cabbage, one is cut open with a rice and pork mixture tumbling out on to a white plate

Pierogi 
Translated as dumplings, they are more like chinese dumplings with pastry folded over a filling than the bread balls you might cook on a stew. We tried 3 varieties: pork & onion, sauerkraut & mushroom and potato & soft cheese. The cooking instructions said that pierogi can be cooked in a number of different ways: fried, boiled or microwaved. I tried all three ways and my favourite was fried as I liked the dryer more pastry like taste, in contrast when boiled they tasted much lighter and more like pasta.

Folded over pastry dumplings on a white plate. One group are more golden and fried, with the other two groups paler

Homemade Fruit Cake
A light sponge with fruit berries on top. This disappeared quickly with a serving of tea. The only sweet item we were sent this was a more familiar dish and required no persuasion to get my eldest daughter to try.

A close up view of a white sponge with berries on top. The juice from the raspberries has soaked into the sponge

What did we think?


While my eldest wasn’t adventurous enough to try several of the dishes, I enjoyed the different flavours and the comforting, filling style of the food. We all found favourites: my youngest enjoyed the stew and sautéed cabbage, my eldest liked the chicken best and my favourite was the pierogi. We all enjoyed the fruit cake.

**Disclosure: we were sent all these wonderful foods to try from Polish Village Meals, but all thoughts and words are my own**
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2 comments

  1. Ohh! This food looks and sounds interesting. I don't think I have ever eaten Polish food. Apart from the cabbage I like the sound of everything especially the Stuffed Pancakes and the Breaded Chicken Breast! x

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    1. I've seen Polish food in the shops before, but I wouldn't have even known where to start. it was really great to try the selection

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