In Zambia, where I come from, we don’t have a regional cuisine characteristic for each province, e.g. maize meal is white not yellow and is a type of food that each Zambian eats. Maize meal is cooked in hot water and eaten with cooked vegetables, meat and fish. We don’t have a regional cuisine which every province is recognised for. This is because all kinds of vegetables and animals can be found in every Zambian province. On gaining independence in 1964, the government focused, in agrarian politics, on promoting maize meal production through all kinds if incentives such as subsidies and commercial rates. This way most commercial and peasant farmers started to concentrate on production of maize meal. In my opinion this made maize meal main type of food in every Zambian province. There are several other types of food in some provinces where more plants, such as cassava, for instance, are grown. Cassava can be dry or ground into cassava flour.
We also have different grains such as rice, wheat, rye as well as Irish and sweet potatoes. They can be cooked and eaten with different types of meat, fish and vegetables as well as spices. Fruit such as mango, guava fruit, avocado and papaya can be eaten as salads. In every Zambian province people cook with the products listed above, in different ways. However, due to their mobility and the fact that maize was intensely promoted by the government, maize meal is most often eaten type of food in Zambia.
When I came to Poland I noticed that every province has a regional cuisine. In Masovia, for instance, regional cuisine is diverse and cooked differently. Regional cuisine is defined as a representation of old Polish culinary traditions. In Masovia, due to abundance of forests and wilderness, the cuisine is based on fruit and meat. Roast lamb, veal and game, of course all juniper, are most popular. As an addition to meat dishes stewed beetroot or grated cold beetroot with horseradish (ćwikła) can be served. Blueberries, bilberries and cranberries as well as other forest fruits can be added to many dishes.
One of the traditional dishes from Masovia is mushroom soup made from mushrooms known in the whole country as “zielone gęsi” or just “zielone”. Popular food in Masovia is roast goose with apples and red cabbage. Fat (lard) is often used as a spread.
This is a list of my favourite dishes of Polish cuisine from Masovia: - beef collops
- beef roulade
- mushroom soup of the Kurpie region
- ‘flaki’ or ‘flaczki’ is a traditional meat stew; it’s an important part of Polish cuisine. It’s thin, cleaned strips of beef tripe. I usually eat this dish twice a week. Warsaw inhabitants say that this dish dates back to XIV century – it was one of the favourite dishes of King Władysław Jagiełło II.
- Warsaw cake – a raised cake
- doughnuts – doughnuts with rose marmalade
- meat dumplings – round potato dumplings with meat
And for dessert I prefer the following:
- poppy seed cake
- apple pie
Translated by: Karolina Ginalska