Poland is one of the largest, most diverse countries in Europe. Many regions, despite Poland’s rich history, have not yet been fully discovered. Even though Poland’s largest and capital city of Warsaw, with a population over 2.5 million, is located in Mazovia, this region can still be considered an agricultural one, its agricultural land consists of about 65% of the region’s total area.
Mazovia is very often categorized as a horticulture and fruit farming region. More than half of the apples and 25% of strawberries produced in Poland are grown in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship. Mazovia is also a leading producer of vegetables and the second largest grain producer in Poland, as well as being the leader in milk and meat production.
This is probably the most diverse region in terms of culinary exploration. Here we can observe not only the influence of Polish regions such as Kurpie or Kujawy, but also an impact that international (not only European) cuisine has on Mazovie. This is visible especially in Warsaw – the capital city. Since the XVI century, when Warsaw became the capital city of Poland, the quality of local cuisine has significantly improved. The city that has been so often destroyed and each time risen from the ashes, had to fight to remain Polish even pertaining to food. For this reason, Mazovian cuisine is considered to be the most traditional one in Poland.
The most traditional and most characteristic ingredients in Mazovian cuisine are czarnina, cooked groats, baked duck (stuffed with offal, parsley and bread), mushroom soup and sour soup, and traditional Warsawian beef tripe. The capital city of the region has always concentrated different tastes from all over the world.
Agriculture – The Best Getaway From the Hustle and Bustle of the City
Farming has always been very important in Mazovia and healthy eating habits are promoted through agrotourism farms. There are many farms where one can find plenty of interesting flavors: traditional regional dishes, homemade cheeses, jams, meats, homemade roast and smoked sausage. What’s more, in some restaurants and most of the agrotourism farms tourists can get involved in the process of jam or cheese making.
Sierpc – the Museum of the Mazovian Countryside
While in Mazovia, it is worth visiting Sierpc, where the Museum of the Mazovian Village is located. The Museum of Mazovian Village in Sierpc is a detailed reconstruction of a little village lost in the plains of Mazovia sometime in the second half of the 19th century.
The beauty of the museum has captivated not only the tourists, but the skansen provided backdrops to such films as With Fire and Sword [Ogniem i Mieczem] and Master Thaddeus [Pan Tadeusz], as well as numerous advertisements and video clips.
The museum was established in 1971. Presently, its exhibition covers the cultural heritage of north-western Mazovia, a region inhabited largely by peasants and minor gentry.
Many vodka connoisseurs from around the world consider Polish vodka to be the best! Many special occasions and holidays are celebrated with vodka as the traditional drink of the country. Very famous culinary attraction worth seeing in Mazovia is the Chopin vodka distillery in Krzesk. Chopin Potato Vodka has became one of the most iconic of Polish vodkas. The Chopin Vodka distillery dates back to 1896 and is owned by Tad J. Dorda, who has converted a restored country house into a hospitality center for visitors who can watch the distilling process from a series of catwalks constructed on the exterior of the distillery. While speaking about alcohol, also worth mentioning are Mazovian honey beer, beer from Ciechanow, as well as Zakroczyn cherry liquor, made primarily from cherries grown in home-garden orchards.
The Land of Blossoming Apple Trees
Mazovia, often called the land of blossoming apple trees, has a lot to offer from the beautiful landscapes to tasty fresh fruits from organic farms. The beginnings of “Europe’s largest orchard” date back to the times of Queen Bona, who was famous for her passion for gardening (especially fruit-farming). After receiving large areas of land in Grójec poviat, she strongly supported gardening and farming by establishing many privileges for garden owners. Today, the Grójec area is known for apple tree farming, which provides around 40% of domestic apple production.
The Five Most Famous Mazovian DishesWorth Trying While Visiting The Region
1. Szlachcice – Polish dumplings with potatoes.
A traditional dish from Eastern Mazovia and Southern Podlasie regions. These are large, boiled dumplings with a filling made from grated fried potatoes with addition of diced bacon and onion, fried on lard, seasoned with salt, pepper and marjoram. The characteristic feature of “Szlachcice” is their size, as they are at least twice as large as typical Polish dumplings or pierogi.
2. Kogutki from Radziwiłłów (Roosters of ”green-legged partridge” hens)
”Green-legged partridge” hen is a Polish breed adapted for natural raising, very characteristic for Mazovia.
3. Baba Cake From Rye Bread
The baba cake is made of rye bread that is dried and ground with addition of eggs and spices: cinnamon and clove. It is served with a chocolate topping and sprinkled with walnuts.
4. Pańska Skórka
It is a soft, white and pink, rectangular candy. It has a very sweet, milky, slightly almond and caramel taste.
It is especially liked by children and sold mainly in Warsaw in city parks.
5. Sójki Mazowieckie Dumplings
A well-known dish made in the eastern parts of Mazovia are dumplings made of thinly rolled dough and filled with sauerkraut, bacon or fatback, millet and mushrooms, and then fried.
Warsaw – Famous Polish/Regional Restaurants Worth Visiting While In The Capital City
1. Atelier Amaro
Atelier Amaro is a new restaurant concept that combines a culinary studio, deli and the scene. The Restaurant is run by Wojciech Modest Amaro, the most outstanding Polish cook, who amazes his guests with original compositions of flavors. It is very elegant, for people who are constantly looking for new taste sensations, located right next to Agricola. There are thirty seats and it is necessary to book a table a few days before the visit. Atelier Amaro is the first restaurant in Poland which received the Michelin star – the most prestigious awards in the culinary world.
2. Folk Gospoda
The inside of the restaurant is designed in a way so that you feel you have gone back a century or two, surrounded by waitresses in traditional dress and thick wooden interiors and furniture. The music is traditional Polish and the food on offer is very traditional Polish as well.
3. Dawne Smaki
It’s a traditional Polish restaurant amongst the endless string of international eateries on Nowy Świat. Dawne Smaki thrives on old style Polish cooking, where you can sample a comprehensive range of home-grown specialties.
Bazyliszek is everything that a tourist could want in a restaurant on the Main Square: costumed staff, kegs used as part of the décor and a beer menu with reasonably priced Tyskie. On the menu we can find for example the pierogi variety plate (meat, cabbage, and cheese and potato). It’s a great way to sample your way through a staple.
5. Chłopskie Jadło
It’s a nationwide chain devoted to serving rustic Polish food from the countryside. The décor is country farm kitsch, with strings of hams and ancient machinery dangling from the walls.
Famous Warsaw Based Polish Chefs Worth Knowing About
It’s also worth mentioning that in Warsaw we can find many restaurants run by the most famous Polish chefs. Some examples are:
1. Robert Sowa and his Sowa & Przyjaciele Restaurant.
2. Karol Okrasa and his restaurant Platter. One of the most exclusive restaurants in Poland.
3. Magdalena Gessler – U Fukiera & Ale Gloria Restaurants to name a few.
4. Wojciech Modest Amaro and Atelier Amaro Restaurant. Already mentioned above.
There is plenty to see, do and taste in Mazovia and we hope you’ll visit this amazing region of Poland soon. You are welcomed to join us on our “Taste of Poland in Mazovia and Warsaw” week-long culinary vacation in the region or “A Three-Day Culinary Adventure Around Warsaw” if your time is limited. Please visit our website www.polandculinaryvacations.com for dates and details. See you in beautiful Mazovia!