Life in the mountains is not the easiest, thus to get ingredients or spices was not a simple task. Hence, highlander’s cuisine based on products that are easy to obtain, available on site. Still, it will delight you with a taste and make you full. In highlander’s recipes, we will find simple dishes made of cabbage, potatoes, flour, as well as residues from cheese production – such as whey from goat milk. And of course traditional bread substitutes, i.e., highland cakes.
Easy to prepare, containing a minimal amount of ingredients, and yet delicious soup. Many tourists eat it immediately after arriving in the Podhale region, making it almost a ritual.
The basis of the soup is sour cabbage, which gives it a bitter taste, sometimes even very strong.
It must be accompanied by meat, preferably when it is smoked ribs, with a distinct, smoky aftertaste. Add spices – marjoram and cumin to facilitate digestion, bay leaf to enhance the taste and pepper to make it spicier. That’s all. We do not cook this soup with potatoes (because then it would be cabbage soup), though usually, potatoes served additionally.
Bundz is a local cheese registered on the list of traditional products. Its made similar to Oscypek. However, the cheese mass is not smoked, and only it is put aside for several days to allow a process of maturation to occur. The cheese is not salted, so it is mild and delicious. In its consistency, it is similar to cottage cheese, but with small eyes and thin skin, similar to blue cheese.
Bryndza, in turn, is made of Bundz, mixing with water and plenty of salt. This mass ripens warmly for about two weeks. It’s great for spreading bread, adding to salads, or as a stuffing ingredient. The salty, spicy taste is very intense, one that you like either very or not at all.
Korbacze – or korboce – is nothing but cheese made from cow’s milk. It has the form of thick threads, long enough to be braided. It tastes perfect as a snack and appetizer. The taste is more delicate than oscypek, although it can also be smoked – or not. Both versions have their aficionados.
Traditionally, moskole baked on a metal sheet of a wood-burning stove. At present, we use metal sheets or a pan laid on a gas burner. The Moskole pancakes consist of boiled potatoes, well-mashed, flour, water, and salt. It is a basic recipe because depending on the housewife flour can be wheat, rye, oat, or even corn. You can add an egg, buttermilk, curdled milk. Some recipes use yeast or baking powder. Of course, so not every Moskole tastes the same – but everyone tastes good.
Hałuski listed on the table of traditional products, just like the similar “tarcioki”. There are many different recipes. This dish can contain raw grated potatoes with flour, or boiled potatoes and flour. Sliced or torn dough is thrown into boiling water, cooked briefly – and it is ready.
In the past, it was a cheap and straightforward dish, so there was no egg in it, but today it is a frequent addition. Depending on your preference, you can also add cheese. How to eat Haluski? The easiest way is with melted smoked fat or cracklings. Sometimes even with sour cabbage. Also, with sheep cheese or as an addition to main dishes, especially goulash.
It is another incredibly delicious and simple meal from the Podhale region.
Next to cabbage soup, it is the most popular dish, especially favored by man. Meal based on a potato pancake, richly seasoned with meat goulash. Sometimes with a blot of sour cream on top. You will probably meet him elsewhere in Hungary as a Hungarian cake. The recipe is no different – classic pies from grated raw potatoes, flour, and eggs. It is fried on high heat and with a lot of fat, making them pleasantly brown. Add a portion of goulash, and we have a dish that will give you strength for hiking in the mountains.
The old highlander’s cuisine did not have a lot of meat in it – just like rural cuisines from other regions. Back at that time, people could not afford frequent meat-eating, so it remained a dish for special occasions and celebrations. Now it is different, meat in the Podhale cuisine, especially in taverns for tourists, is abundant. It’s not just pork ribs with fried cabbage or chicken breast with cranberry and bacon. It’s also a variety of grilled sausages, neck, and pork loin. You cannot forget about the pork knuckle, beloved by many, with crunchy skin, honey, and seasoned beer. And about regional delicacies like mutton and lamb. Diet? Yeah… When we get back home, of course, yes.
Sweets are great for relaxing in the mountains. Either you will burn excess calories walking on Tatra routes or riding quads, or you will not burn – but you are on vacation so that you can go crazy. Any reason is good to finish the meal with a portion of sweetness. The most associated with Zakopane is apple pie, served with ice cream and fruit. Deliciousness. You can also taste honey or poppy seed cake or strudel. Add a cup of coffee, and the world becomes even more beautiful.