212 Traditional dishesAccording to tradition, the family sit down to the table after the first star appeared. Christmas Eve supper should consist of twelve different dishes which symbolize Twelve Apostles. It is a day of fasting, so there is no red meat served. The most common ingredients are: poppy seed, sauerkraut, fishes, dried fruits and mush-rooms.
4Poppy seedKutia is a sweet grain pudding, traditionally served in Polish culture. Kutia is often the first dish in the traditional twelve-dish Christmas Eve supper.Traditionally it was made of wheat berries, poppy seeds, honey or sugar, almonds and pieces of oranges, various nuts and sometimes raisins.In many recipes milk or cream is also used.
5SauerkrautSauerkraut with mushrooms is one of the most popular dishes on the Polish Christmas tables. It can be partaken as a separate dish or it may be put into the dumplings (pierogi) or ravioli (uszka – literally „little ears”). It is thought that the best flavor of this dish can be felt, while eating barszcz – a beetroot soup.
6SAUERCRAUT WITH PEASSauerkraut with peas is one of traditional dishes in Poland. It derives from southern Poland, probably from the neighbourhood of Cracow. This meal has quite similar taste to the sauerkraut with mush-rooms, therefore, usually only one of them is served on the table.
7Dumplings and ravioliPierogi (dumplings) are one of the most famous Polish dishes all over the world. A traditional Christmas dumpling contains only sauerkraut and mushrooms, there is no meat in it due to the fasting. But generally there are many variants of this dish. A smaller version of pierogi are uszka (ravioli). Pre-dominantly they are served with barszcz (beetroot soup) instead of noodles as the first course. The filling of uszka also consist of sauerkraut and mushrooms.PierogiUszka
8Beetroot soupThe basic Polish borscht (barszcz) recipe includes red beetroot, onions, garlic, and other vegetables, such as carrots and celery or root parsley. The ingredients are cooked for some time together to produce a clear broth.Barszcz is the first course during the Christmas Eve feast, served with ravioli-type dumplings called uszka (lit. "little ears") with mushroom filling (sauerkraut can be used, as well, again depending on the family tradition). Typically, this version does not include any meat ingredients, although some variants do.
9Mushroom soupIn some households during the Christmas Eve Supper barszcz is not served. Instead of it there is a mushroom soup (grzybowa). This dish contains wide variety of mushrooms, it usually depends on each family preferences.Predominantly, the soup is served with noodles and pieces of mushrooms. It is also eaten on the First Day of Christmas during the Christ-mas breakfast.
10Fried carpFried carp is one of national Polish foods, eaten only once a year - during the Christmas Eve supper. Depending on local and family traditions carp is fried in a coating or without it. Some superstitious Poles believe that carp brings luck. For example, you can put a scale of the carp into your wallet. As a conse-quence, in the following year the best of luck in business matters is guaranteed.
11HERRING IN SOUR CREAMHerring is mostly served with sour cream, onion, garlic, apples and spices.It’s not the only one type of fishes, which appear on the Christmas tables, but it’s most common, since in the past there wasn’t such a wide variety of food. Although times changed, the custom remained.
12Polish „Greek fish”Polish Greek-style fish is one of completely marvelous originally Polish food which, as traditional food in many Polish families, is a sure hit on the Christmas Eve table. It is ethnically Polish and to spite the name of this dish, Greeks do not have a slightest inkling about it. Completely nobody in Poland was able to explain to whence this name had come.What is interesting, the Polish Greek-style fish is eaten cold although it is not a rule. This Polish food is made of fish filets fried in a coating. Next, fish is being arranged in a bowl together with a special, red-colored blend made from boiled vegetables ( parsley, celery, onion, tomato),concentrate and seasoning. But the main ingredient is a carrot. This unique Polish food is slightly sweet and quite aromatic.
13GingerbreadPiernik (gingerbread) is one of the cakes which are strictly connected with Christmas. It appears on almost every Christmas table in Poland. It is easy to guess that the main ingredient of this dessert is ginger. However, the cake contains many more specific spices.Pierniczki (little gin-gerbreads) are kind of crunchy and a little tough cookies. Usually they are made by children and later decorated.It is also believed that on the 6th of December, which is a day when Santa Claus celebrates his „name day” (popular Polish celebration called imieniny), children should leave some gingerbreads and milk for Santa before going to bed and in return they receive little gifts.
14Poppy seed rollThe poppy seed roll is pastry consisting of a roll of sweet veast bread (a viennoserie) with a dense, rich, bittersweet filling of poppy seed An alternative filling is a paste of minced walnuts.