10 Traditional Polish Christmas Foods

Polish Christmas Foods

Food is essential in life, as we all need it to survive. Without food, humans might find it hard to function well in life.

Despite its vast usefulness, every culture has its food and style of making it; the regular and the occasional. However, the primary focus of this article is on Polish Christmas foods.

Polish Christmas food has become very famous over the years. The tradition of celebrating Christmas in Poland dates back centuries.

The country was once known as the “land of three kings” because of its rich cultural heritage. Today, Christmas celebrations continue to thrive, especially during the winter season.

Poland is one of the most delicious dishes from around the globe. These festive favorites will please the pickiest eaters, from sweet treats to savory snacks.

Here are 10 Polish Christmas foods to know.

1. Pierniki (Polish Gingerbread)

The Polish Gingerbread recipe is one of the best-known traditional recipes in the world. This tasty treat dates back to the 13th Century, and people have enjoyed it every December since then.

The main ingredients are flour and sugar with butter, milk, eggs, ginger, and cinnamon. After gathering these ingredients, baking the mixture into small balls is next. To make the balls tastier, sprinkle them with powdered sugar.

You can eat gingerbread cookies straight away or store them in airtight containers for later consumption. Bake this delicious treat during Christmas and eat it throughout the winter, and you’ll be glad you did! 

2. Jarzynowa Salatka (Vegetable Salad)

Jarzynowa is also one of the best Polish Christmas foods. It originated in Moscow at the Hermitage restaurant in the 1860s.

Discovered by the Belgian chef Lucien Olivier, the vegetable salad became extremely popular and was soon called Oliver’s Salad. 

The simple salad consists of veal tongue, crayfish tails, lettuce, caviar, smoked duck, capers, and the famous Olivier dressing made from French wine vinegar, olive oil, and mustard. 

As the salad became more popular, people started replacing expensive ingredients with cheap ones. Now, jarzynowa is accessible to the high and middle classes. 

This traditional food is usually served cold, but if you want to serve it hot, add some mayonnaise to it.

3. Karp

Karp, also known as baked or fried carp, is another Poland Christmas food.

Despite being a traditional holiday food, carp isn’t part of Polish culture. Instead, it’s one of the dishes from Jewish traditions brought over during the Middle Ages.

At that time, Jews lived in Poland under Christian rule and adopted many aspects of Polish culture, including eating carp.

Currently, carp is a delicacy and symbol of prosperity and abundance in Poland. During the holidays, families spend days preparing fish for Christmas dinner.

On December 24th, children receive small gifts called “karzula” filled with candies while adults enjoy a large meal of roasted fish.

There are many different ways to prepare Karp. In Poland, they eat fried karp with potato pancakes and sour cream. But in America, they eat baked karp, which is often accompanied by dumplings and gravy.

4. Challah

Challah is also among the famous Polish Christmas foods to try. The most crucial foodstuff of the Jewish people is challah, a braided loaf of dough traditionally eaten during the Passover seder meal. This word challah comes from the Hebrew words chalel (“to rise”) and hala’at (“to bake”).

In Polish cuisine, challah is known as kwiatówka, literally “little tree.” In fact, the shape resembles a fir tree branch, and it’s nice being warm, either plain or with butter and honey.

5. Kutia

The word “Kutia” originates from the Polish language. It comes from the verb “to cook” and translates into “cooked food.” Though there are no records of its initial preparation, the dish became famous during the middle age.

Also, it was a common practice among noblemen and wealthy people to present gifts to their guests. In addition to being a traditional Christmas treat, Kutia symbolizes hospitality and good manners.

Traditionally, you can eat it with bread and butter and serve it to guests on Christmas Eve.

6. Makowiec

Among the Polish Christmas foods listed in this article, we must not forget is Makowiec. The Makowiec is a classic Polish pastry originating in Kraków. Traditionally, Makowiec consists of layers of dough filled with poppy seed paste and icing sugar.

However, there are many variations in the theme. They include walnuts, almonds, cinnamon, candied fruit, dried fruits, and more.

People often serve Makowiec at weddings, baptisms, New Year’s Eve, and Easter. And although it links with Christmas, you can serve it anytime throughout the year.

7. Kompot

Kompot is a sweet, refreshing dessert that can be enjoyed both warm and cold. In Poland, people serve it during wintertime as part of Christmas celebrations.

However, it is also popular throughout the rest of the year, especially during the summer months.

The traditional recipe needs apples, pears, plums, apricots, peaches, cherries, and strawberries. You can add other ingredients depending on what season you’re making it in.

For instance, during the fall, you can use pumpkin, rhubarb during the spring, and ginger root during the winter.

There are many different ways to make Kompot. One method involves boiling down whole fruits in water. However, another method uses a blender to blend the fruit into a smooth consistency.

8. Forest Mushrooms Soup

Forest Mushroom Soup is another beautiful food among Polish Christmas foods. It has existed for centuries and is still very popular today.

This traditional dish originated in the United States, where mushrooms grow naturally. Also, it has long been helpful in folk medicine because of its healing properties. Today, forest mushrooms are an essential source of protein and vitamins.

9. Pierogi

Pierogis are one of the most well-known Polish Christmas foods. They are dumplings stuffed with cheese, meat, vegetables, or even chocolate.

People usually serve them with sour cream and jam. But you can also serve them with apple sauce, sauerkraut, or cabbage.

You can find these Polish dishes everywhere in Poland. Even though they originated in Poland, they have become an international favorite.

10. Polish Fish Soup

The dish’s name says it all – it’s a fish soup. In fact, it’s one of the most popular dishes in Poland, and it’s effortless to prepare. You only need ingredients like potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, leeks, parsley, and more.

You start by boiling the water and adding the vegetables. Then you add the fish fillet. Finally, you blend everything and serve this Polish food piping hot.


So, these are our top 10 Polish Christmas foods. We hope you found this list helpful. You can drop some comments below if you have any thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like