Regional Polish Cuisine - Maloposka - Pischinger

In Poland there was a "night of communism" when I was a child. Sweets in shops were either very expensive or very tasteless. So our mother and grandmother prepared home-made sweets. One of my favourite is Pischinger – wafer cake. It is a traditional Krakow dessert which comes from the nineteenth century. It was invented by a baker from Vienna - Oscar Pischinger, and hence the name of this dessert. This cheap and very tasty dessert has been very popular in Poland since the nineteenth century. Currently every family have their own recipe for this dessert.
The original dessert is a combination of milk, sugar, butter, chocolate but there are many other varieties of this sweet. Somebody can make it as butter cream with raw eggs but in my opinion it is dangerous for health. For the lazy or the ones who don't have time, you can do the Pischinger dessert with the cream Nutella. You just need to spread wafers and cut them.

Below you will find the original recipe for Pischinger.

250 ml of fresh cream
100g unsalted butter
¾ cup golden caster sugar

3 tbs vanilla sugar

pack of wafers (I used 23 cm / 9 inches round wafers)
1 bar of chocolate
200g walnuts
a few tbs cocoa powder (depending on which flavour you choose)

Cook cream, butter and sugar until they start to thicken. Add chocolate and vanilla sugar, and cook until the mixture thickens. Add ingredients for the flavour.
When the cream is ready, cool it down and spread it on the first layer of wafer, cover with another one, repeat the same till you have only one more left to cover the top.

Wrap the wafer cake with a cling film, leave aside for 3 hours covering it with a book or some other heavy item.

After 3 hours you can cut the cake into pieces.

Store in the fridge.

Other options

for Coffee Pischineger (my personal favourite)
Dissolve 2-3 tsp of instant coffee it in a little bit of hot water before adding to the cream.

for Walnut Pischinger
Ground 200g walnuts before adding them to the cream. If the cream is too thick and not fluffy, add a little bit of water and whisk a bit.

for Lemon Pischinger
Just add lemon juice to taste. 


Regional Polish Cuisine - Maloposka - Maczanka krakowska

Caraway is very popular spice in the Malopolska cuisine. Caraway seeds have many opponents and supporters in Poland due to its characteristic, slightly scorching and spicy flavour.
If it is added with caution, it gives the dish unique taste. Caraway was often used in traditional Polish cuisine for its medicinal properties. It improves digestion and has antibacterial qualities and it was often added to greasy meat or bean dishes. Currently, caraway is often used in dishes in Malopolska. Caraway is added to many dishes: salads, white cheese, baked apples, sauerkraut and bread. It is used in soups from mushrooms, potato and cabbage soups,. We can add it to meat dishes but it can also be used to make flavoured vodka. I like caraway seeds and I often use them in my kitchen.

Now I wish to introduce one of my favourite dishes with caraway – Maczanka krakowska.
In the past Maczanka was a good way to utilise remnants of roasts as food .
It lies in the fact that meat is cut into small pieces, heated in the sauce and eaten with bread. You dip pieces of bread in the sauce and eat them . You can eat them with your hands. So my grandparents ate it this way in a restaurant in Krakow before the war, and now I serve it this way in my home.
I prepare this dish with fresh meat rather than from the remaining roasts from dinner.

80 grams pork meat,
1.5 tablespoons lard or butter ,
3 large onions,
salt and pepper, to taste
bay leaves, 2
a half tablespoons of caraway,
spoon of flour,
6 buns

  1. Rub the meat well with salt, caraway and pepper and put in the fridge for a few hours, preferably at night.
  2. In an oven-pan dissolve fat , pour water (a few tablespoons), put the meat, cover and bake in the oven for about 1.5 h at 180 degrees.
  3. In the middle of baking the meat, add the onions sliced .
  4. After baking, remove the meat and thicken the sauce with flour.
  5. Cut the meat into slices, serve in a deep plate with sauce and a bun.


Regional Polish Cuisine - Maloposka

I am going to start the journey through the Polish regional cuisine from my native region – Malopolska.
This region is rich in flavours and it has formed my culinary tastes. My family lives both in the mountain villages and in Krakow. This way I know both simple rural cuisine rich in natural flavours and refined cuisine from Krakow.
The Malopolska cuisine developed for centuries but it obtained its final shape in the nineteenth century.
Krakow, as the capital, was the place where various culinary innovations arrived.
They quickly penetrated traditional recipes. Jewish and Viennese cuisine had huge influence on the Malopolska cuisine. In the past the Malopolska cuisine was known as the Galician cuisine and it was based on rich culinary traditions of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.
It can be seen quite clearly in the names of certain dishes, such as Viennese eggs, Viennese schnitzel or Viennese cheesecake.


Austrian influence can be also spotted in pastry shops which invariably offer two Viennese specialities: Sachertorte and Piszinger. Semolina with nuts and raisins is a typical dessert from Krakow. This was reportedly one of the favourite delicacies of Queen Anne Jagiellon.
One should also mention buchtach, yeast dough filled with plum jam, which is another typical Malopolska cake.

The most characteristic type of bread from Krakow are pretzels and bagels. Now you can buy it on every street from street vendors. They are a symbol of Krakow.
Małopolska may also boast of many other kinds of bread. I will only mention rolls called sztangielki or oatmeal buns called bośniaczki. ,Both have clearly perceptible aroma of cumin, so characteristic of the Galician cuisine.

Cumin can also be found in marinades, sauces and soups. It is very popular specie in the Malopolska cuisine. Maczanka krakowska and cumin soup are very popular dishes with cumin.
Dry sausage from Krakow is a regional product which is also appreciated by other Europeans . Traditionally it is made ​​from the finest pieces of pork. Next it is smoked and then stored for a long time, maturing to gain its characteristic taste and aroma.

Rural cuisine of this region is rich in apples, plums, mushrooms and beetroot taste. The Maloposka region is very diverse geographically and culinary. Every part has its own typical dishes and taste. The Podhlanska cuisine is the most popular in Poland. This is cuisine of highlanders living in the highest Polish mountains, namely the Tatra mountains.
I will tell you about the most interesting flavours and dishes from Małopolska in the next posts.


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