Recipe Index

Global Bites Project | Eastern European Cuisine

Posted on March 29, 2012


Poland, Romania, Croatia, Hungary, and others.

Eastern Europe map

Cooking Methods

Stewing, air drying, stuffing foods, skewering and grilling meats, simmering, pickling, braising, panfrying, and boiling.

Typical Ingredients

Potatoes, cabbage, parsnips, cucumber, beets, olive oil, olives, bread, paprika, onions, sauerkraut, sausage, sour cream, butter, wheat, rye, buckwheat, barley, kohlrabi, mushrooms, rice, yogurt-based sauces, garlic, pasta, gnocchi, preserved vegetables, fresh vegetables, herbs, goat's milk cheese, sheep's milk cheese, bell peppers, tomatoes, beef, bacon, pork, and veal.

Culinary Influences

Wars and ethnic migrations have made this area's cuisine obscure. Many times the ethnic background of a person does not match the country that they live in. Eastern European cuisine is heavily influenced by surrounding areas and shifting ethnic cultures. Most of the recipes that I looked at were fairly heavy, stewed types of dishes, stuffed cabbages, and pickled vegetables.

My Adventure

I have to admit, this is not my favorite cuisine. I actually made Chicken Paprikash and didn't like it enough to post. I think it tasted good, but it was just too heavy and I wouldn't make it again. I decided to skip the stews and goulashes and make a popular Polish coffee cake instead. My husband is half Polish-German and had this cake often while growing up, so he was thrilled to have me make it.

Here is my Polish Poppy Seed Cake (Makowiec).

Polish poppy seed cake (Makowiec)

For the next part of my adventure, we went to the Polish restaurant Bona in Menlo Park (closed). Here is what we had.

Polish Sausage (Polska Kielbasa)

Polish sausage

Pierogis (cheese and potato, meat, and cabbage and mushroom)


Polish Goulash Stew (Gulasz)

Polish goulash stew

Beet Salad

beet salad

Polish Poppy Seed Cake (Makowiec)

poppy seed cake

Recipes for Eastern European cuisine can be found here. I am always adding more, so check back!

Next stop, Italy.

All articles for the Global Bites Project can be found here.


(Ref. Jeremy MacVeigh's International Cuisine.)