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Warsaw’s best food experiences center around traditional Polish cuisine — rich, hearty and delicious. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ list of five local dishes you simply have to sample:
1. Kiełbasa. In Poland — like most Slavic countries — sausages make up a significant part of the culinary landscape. Known generally as kiełbasa, Polish sausages come in a many different forms, made from pork, beer, turkey, lamb and veal and either boiled, grilled or smoked. They are typically eaten with boiled potatoes and gherkins.
2. Flaki po warszawsku. Although flaki is often literally translated into English as “guts,” don’t let that put you off — this traditional Polish tripe soup is delicious. The thick broth is popular all across the country, but this regional version also includes tasty meatballs.
3. Kluski. The generic name for dumplings, kluski come in various forms – from kluski śląskie (made from mashed potato) to pierogi (fried and stuffed with sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese or fruit). Keep in mind, however: the word kluski is also regularly used to mean noodles.
4. Żurek starowiejski. This soup is made of soured rye flour (akin to sourdough), with potatoes, chopped sausages, boiled eggs and sometimes mushrooms.
5. Bread and cakes. Firm and brown with a crunchy crust, bread (chleb) is the backbone of Polish cuisine, available with almost every meal. But if you have a sweet tooth, try the traditional desserts of Makowiec (a poppy seed cake with raisins and walnuts) or sernik (cheesecake made with Polish twaróg cheese) instead.