The Jews influence on the Polish cuisine - Szlajmzupe

The Jews were settled in Poland during the reign of Boleslaw Chrobry  Casimir III the Great was favourably disposed towards the Jews. On 9 October 1334, he confirmed the privileges granted to Jewish Poles in 1264 by Bolesław V the Chaste. Under penalty of death, he prohibited the kidnapping of Jewish children for the purpose of enforced Christian baptism. He imposed heavy punishment for the desecration of Jewish cemeteries. King Casimir allowed them to settle in Poland in great numbers and protected them as people of the king.
                                                                                          Wojciech Gerson - Jewish and King Kasimir

In 1492 Spain and a few years later Portugal and other countries drove the Jews out of their territories. Some of them moved to Poland. The Jews became an important part of  Polish  economy and culture.

Many of the dishes and many methods of processing and storage of food in Polish cuisine are owed to the Jews. Sweet juice, cooking fish and veal, cholent and other dishes prepared by the Jews during the Sabbath have survived in Polish homes to this day.

                                                                                       Aleksander Gierymski -Jewess with Lemons

In Jewish cuisine   kosher food as a form of respect for biblical health rules, officially scorned by Poles, is used. However, these rules played a significant role in the slaughter and cutting up the animals in Poland. Indeed, Poles pay special attention to the Jewish model of slaughter where  the purity of place and sharpness of the tools which are use to slaughter are important. Of course, nobody dissuaded Poles from eating  pork, but Polish cuisine has adopted a number of recipes, ingredients and spices used in Jewish cuisine.

My favourite dishes coming from Jewish cuisine are Jewish carp, Cholent, Szlajmzupe, Holiszki, Challah,

Below there is a recipe for Szlajmzupe which is often served by my grandfather.

150 gram the offal of geese (wings, legs, stomach)
150 grams of mixed vegetables (no cabbage)
150 grams barley groats (Pearl)
2 dried mushrooms (porcini)
Salt, pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 cup of cooked beans

Cleaned and washed offal put into boiling water (4 cups).  Boil and afterwards peel meat from the bone, cut meat and stomach into small pieces and put into the broth. Rinse barley, pour in the broth and cook slowly. Grate purified vegetable large mesh, pour three cups of water, add  soaked and cleaned mushrooms and cook until soft. Add the broth with vegetables to the broth with barley, season to taste with salt and pepper, bring to boil. Serve with cooked beans, which were cooked separately with chopped parsley.


  1. Really interesting series on the influences of Polish cuisine. This looks like quite a hearty soup to enjoy on a cold day. Not a big offal fan but could be substituted. Nice blog.

  2. Thanks. Yes, this soup is ideal in cold winter days.
    Some times I make it only with chicken meat.

  3. Thank you for your recent comment! You have such an interesting blog. I enjoyed reading about the various influences on Polish cuisine. I think this sound would be delicious with any poultry.



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