Christmas Eve table

In the traditional Polish Christmas cuisine still are present echoes of the old Slavic beliefs.

Interestingly, in the pagan time Slavs celebrated the feast of December 24 to commemorate dead and they used to have a modest wake that day. In past centuries only meatless dishes were served, and their numbers have to be odd (5 or 7 of the peasants, 9 of the nobility and 11 or 13 aristocracy), what was of magical significance. Today it is 12 in use.

Note: Polish Christmas Eve food is considered very healthy!

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According to old tradition food ingredients have to come from the field (grits, corn), orchard (fruit), garden (vegetables), forest (mushrooms, nuts, honey) and water (fish), which was to ensure a good harvest in each of these places. A remnant of the old wake was the custom to eat pancakes (bliny), beans, peas, cereal, apples and nuts. Menu depends on the wealth of the family and the region of Poland. For example, on the rich manors 12 kind of fish dishes were served. Separate cuisine traditions are still visible, but few dishes, originating from traditional folk, can be considered as typical for Polish Christmas Eve. These are:

wafer – thin waffle with a Christmas theme , which gathered at the table to share with everyone with good wishes before dinner starts . Wafer hosts also share with animals. Wafer is a custom unknown outside Poland.

Oplatki

Christmas wafer

dinner

borscht with beet

Barszcz

 

mushroom soup

zupa-grzybowa

 

fried carp

karp smażony

Note:

This popular Christmas  fish is a hero of special Christmas carols sung every year by a team of “Carp’s friends” of Polish Radio Program 3 journalists!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJA1CTowuRI

 

cabbage with peas (on the picture below) or with mushrooms

kapusta z grochem

 

pierogi (dumplings)

  • with mushrooms and cabbage
  • with dried plums (sweet) – on the picture below

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kutia (east Poland)

kutia

 

dried fruit compote

Kompot_z_suszonych_sliwek

other:

herring in various way (in oil, sour cream, in Hebrew recipe)

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carp in aspic

karp_w_galarecie_

dessert

noodles with poppy (sweet)

kluski z makiem

 

poppy seed cake

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gingerbread

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gingerbread cakes

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Christmas Eve at Renata

  • 3 soups: borscht with ravioli (on the picture below) + mushroom soup + fish soup (made of carp remnants)

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  • fried carp + potato + cabbage with peas and cabbage with mushrooms
  • herring with raisins
  • dried fruit compote

dessert :

  • poppy seed cake
  • gingerbread
  • gingerbread cakes
  • makówki (dessert of poppy, Upper Silesia)

Each dish should be tasted!

For the Christmas holidays Poles also prepares bigos, roast goose, and many other dishes.

Renata Głuszek

Read also: Easter and Christmas

Photo: Karolina Olczak, Renata Głuszek, Wikipedia, other sources

 

More about Polish Christmas can be found in the article ” Christmas” .

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