If meat, fermented foods and many rounds of vodka sound like your idea of a good time, you should really get into Polish food. And if eating and drinking for hours with your friends sounds up your alley, you should really consider throwing a Polish dinner party the next time you invite people over (and don’t worry — you don’t need to speak fluent Polish to do it). We spoke to Julia Bosski, founder of Polish Thursday Dinners, to get her expert opinion on what you should serve. Na zdrowie!
Ingredients For A Perfect Polish Dinner Party
According to Bosski, it’s pretty much guaranteed that any trip to Poland will involve hospitality in the form of lots of vodka or other types of liquor. Actually, it was the memory of big holiday dinners that inspired her to start her own supper club. During Easter and Christmas, many families eat all day, which is partially made possible by taking some vodka after each dish. Krupnik is a traditional Polish cordial made with grain alcohol, honey and herbs. This warming, spiced concoction can be bought already bottled, but if you’re feeling super ambitious, here’s a recipe.
A typical Polish dinner party might involve an initial serving of pickles or fermented vegetables to whet everyone’s appetite. But another thing that’s very Polish: soups. And so we present you with żurek (pronounced “zhurek”), a creamy, hearty Polish sour bread soup often topped off with ham, sausage and potatoes. Depending on your constitution, this could very well serve as a full meal unto itself. Hope you’ve got room for more, though, because you’ll definitely want to make this.
Main Course: Kluski Śląskie
For a main dish, you generally can’t go wrong with cabbage, potatoes and meat (think: duck, goose or pork). But if you were reading this hoping to get an eyeful of pierogis, here’s a potato/dough concoction that you probably haven’t heard of before: kluski śląskie. This is a special kind of dumpling from Silesia made from potatoes. They’re kind of like Polish gnocchi, but shaped like doughnuts. Better yet: you can top them with some sort of stew or roast in gravy. Here’s a recipe.
Just in case you weren’t royally stuffed yet, send your guests home with a belly full of budyń, a type of pudding made with milk, vanilla, egg yolks and often fruits. In a pinch, you can make it from a packet. But if you’re aiming to bring a homemade touch to every aspect of your meal, try this recipe.
Key Polish Dinner Phrases
I’m hungry — Jestem głodny. (m) / Jestem głodna.. (f)
I’m full — Jestem najedzony. (m) / Jestem najedzona. (f)
Please — Proszę
Thank you — Dziękuję
You’re welcome — Proszę bardzo
Enjoy your meal! — Smacznego!
How delicious! — Ale pyszne!