Spices to Have on Hand for the Polish Pantry

Jun 18th, 2017 | By | Category: show tips, the show
Paprika, Photo courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

Paprika, Photo courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

As with many cuisines, Polish cooking returns time and again to several “workhorse” herbs and spices. So if you plan to cook from Rose Petal Jam, it would be wise to keep these items on hand.

Dill: A popular, aromatic salad herb, dill is slightly sour or bitter and very refreshing. Both the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are used in Polish cooking  It is used to garnish the popular beetroot soup  called borscht, and is an essential ingredient in dill pickles. The Polish word for dill is koperek, sometimes koperku.

Paprika: This is a powder made from a dried, ground red paprika pepper. It’s often used in Polish stews, and imparts a telltale red color and piquant flavor.

Caraway: These tiny seeds give rye bread its distinctive flavor. This aromatic seed is also a regular in everything from sauerkraut to sausage.  Caraway is called kmink in Polish.

Poppy seeds: These tiny black seeds can be found sprinkled on top or breads, and is also an essential ingredient in the Polish dessert calledmakoeic, or poppy seed cake. It’s simple to make — just roll a paste made from the seeds into a sweet dough. Poppy seeds are called mak in Polish.

Bay leaves: It seems nearly all cuisines use bay leaves, and Polish cuisine is no different. Most often found in soups and stews, bay leaves are a mainstay in Polish cuisine. The hard, dried leaves of the bay tree, can be crumbled, pulverized or added whole to a dish. Bay leaves are called bobknowe in Polish.

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