The influence of French cuisine on Polish cuisine -"Mizeria"

The influence of French cuisine on Polish cuisine goes back to the seventeenth century.
Mary Louise, the wife of a Polish king, brought her huge royal entourage to Poland. There were French chefs among them. They started to serve light French meals and wines, which was shocking for the Polish people. At that time Polish cuisine was heavier and it added to dish more spice than now. Fashion for French cuisine took on slowly. Later, more diplomats and priests travelled to France as the king's messengers and they also explored the cuisine of this country.

Bartłomiej Milwitz - Entry of Queen Marie Louise Gonzaga of Poland into Gdańsk

The royal habits started to have an impact on the residences of the magnates. The magnates began to employ French chefs. They drew attention to the delicacy of dishes, menu variety and the decoration of dishes which were served by chefs. Necessary additions to the elaborate dishes included capers, anchovies and truffles. French wines competed with Hungarian and Italian ones.
In the seventeenth century, the French cuisine was only for very rich people and only on special events.

The French travellers resulted inthe great abundance of food, but very often lack of basic table utensils. Guests invited to adopt these manners were often forced to bring with them their own spoons, knives, forks and napkins. To remedy this situation, the magnates began to import equipment from France.

Jean-Pierre Norblin - Concert in the Park

In the eighteenth century the French art of cooking gained a growing number of followers.
Traditional Polish food was replaced by French meals. Roasts were administered with a suit of vegetables or meatballs. Vegetables were to be served as a separate dish. At the end of the dinner a salad, fruits and cheese were served. Desserts such as sweet pudding, omelets, soufflés, party, mousses, cakes and ice were novelty in Poland.
A new way of presentating and serving food on the tables was first introduced by means of the arrival of French mores in Poland.

Alfons Karpinski - painters and artists meeting at the cabaret Jama Michalika, Cracow

Polish cuisine was enriched with new techniques and methods of cooking and food preparation, such as:
-blanching (blanchir)
-browning (au gratin)
-marinating (mariner)
-larded (piquer)
-bread-crumbing (paner)
-cooking in water "au bain marie"

In the nineteenth century the art of French cooking became available to the wider community in restaurants. Restaurateurs imported luxury food such as oysters, lobsters, sole, turbot and tuna. French culinary art began to occupy a unique position in first-class restaurant menus, acting in competition with traditional Polish cuisine.

Now French cuisine has become a permanent part of Polish cuisine and has become an integral part of the Polish culture. Currently some Poles think that some meals are typically Polish while they come from the French cuisine. The most popular salad “mizeria” is a classic example. It is a cucumber salad which is served to pork chops or chicken for Sunday dinners.


0,5 kg cucumbers
1 medium onion
bunch of dill
100 ml fresh crème ( or natural yogurt)
1 tbsp of lemon juice
Salt, black pepper.

Cut in thin slices a cucumber and put into bowl. Cut in thin half- sliced onion, chopped dill and add to cucumber. Mix together fresh crème, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mixture add to vegetable and mix well. This salad is more healthy with natural yogurt instead fresh crème.


Similar Posts:
Influence on Polish cuisnie - part 3 - Beef Strogonow
New Year in the French style


  1. Very good article about the French influence on the Polish cuisine. This Mizeria salad looks delicious :)

    French course

  2. Thanks. Mizeria is a wonderful cucumber salad, especially on hot days. I recommend.

  3. Paul Wasserman–son of French food dictionary wine importer Becky–has just launched EatDrink, a company that sells gorgeous reprints of old wine books like 1927's Bouquet (above) by G.B. Stern, which follows a couple's journey through the vineyards of France.



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