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Old Polish Traditions: In the Kitchen and at the Table (Hippocrene International Cookbook Classics) [Paperback]

Mary Lemnis , Henryk Vitry
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Old Polish Traditions: In the Kitchen and at the Table (Hippocrene International Cookbook Classics) + A Country in the Moon: Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland + The Xenophobe's Guide to the Poles (Xenophobe's Guides)
Price For All Three: £22.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books Inc.,U.S.; New Ed edition (1 Aug 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781804884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781804882
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 443,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A cookbook and a history of Polish culinary customs. Short essays cover subjects like Polish hospitality, holiday traditions, even the exalted status of the mushroom. Included are over 100 recipes for traditional family fare.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect example of cook bookery 13 Feb 2002
By A Customer
What a triumph! A first rate book about Polish cookery that doesn't deal in the usual run of the mill recipes that you can find anywhere. This book has a sound historical basis, as the title suggests, for the food it details. Truly magnificent in both of it's roles both as historical food writing and recipe book. All three of it's roles! A tri-cornered book if ever there was one. What a delight to read of various interesting accounts from interesting period in Polish past and than to be able to cook the food from that time. What a treat!
If only all food / cookery / history books were written like this. Junk food and microwave meals would be a thing of the past. My only complaint is that there aren't more fabulous recipes. I have nearly cooked my way through the whole book and enjoyed every minute of it. But with such fantastic writing it really is a book for all people as well as being a multi-purpose product of extremely good quality. The print is a delight and I have to say what a pity it is that the cover isn't a little bit more interesting, only because it might put off some book-by-it's-cover judges. Buy it on my approval, it's not expensive, it's a bargain. Have a look at it if you can, you won't look back.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polish food for beginners 21 Mar 2010
being 2nd generation Polish ,with no cooking knowledge or skills handed down to me : I find this a superb book for historical as well as culinary information...buy it , is all I can say
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
74 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HAVE SOME HISTORY WITH YOUR COOKING 16 Oct 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I rather liked this book for two reasons. 1) The way it is organized and 2) the fact that it is not a rehash of how to cook kielbasy and pirogi. (In fact there is only one kielbasy recipe lsited.) - The author(s) describe a period in Polish history, all of which is very informative, and then give you recipes for the foods that were prominent at that time. As a result, you don't get the standard list of Polish recipes, but rather a unique package of traditional food, going way back. A very nice arrangement and very nice recipes. Easy to read (very interesting) and printed very nicely, and it makes you hungry just reading it. Also note: since it goes back in history, it does ALSO contain those special Lithuanian dishes.
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly unique look at fabulous Polish food 16 May 2000
By Wanda Loskot - loska.com - - Published on Amazon.com
Not many people realize how *fine* is Polish cooking - and how sophisticated are traditional Polish dishes. This book dispels many myths - for example, it is NOT the kielbasa, cabbage rolls and pierogi what is the best and most celebrated food in Poland.
This is more than a cookbook - it is a wonderful history book filled with an amazing mix of culinary facts written in very entertaining style. Authors Maria Lemnis and Henry Vitry are very well known Polish food columnists (as celebrated as Julia Child is in the US). They are brilliant writers who understand Polish food better than any other cook book writer.
It is a pure delight. Definitely the best book on Polish food in English language. Written for people who can appreciate a good story, fine writing and good food. It has not as many recipes as other cookbooks mentioned here, perhaps 50 recipes or so. But it is the quality of recipes that counts.
This book should be staple in every household aspiring to cook a Polish dish now and then - it is carefully edited and illustrated and makes also a PERFECT gift!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start learning about Polish food and customs 8 Dec 2008
By Norman Strojny - Published on Amazon.com
"Old Polish Traditions" is a good place to start learning about Polish food and customs.

The book has good, short, sections devoted to Polish customs and traditions. And, it has good recipes for a number of Polish foods, especially finer food. This is not a long book and there are many, many, Polish food recipes. However, it is a good place to start learning.

Read through the book and its recipes. Start with something simple, such as a mushroom soup. However, many of these recipes can be difficult and/or time-consuming. For instance, Bigos is a hunters stew, usually started with saurkraut and two or more types of meat and is rarely ready to eat in less than three days. Some of the recipes can be daunting, such as stuffed roast pig. Some of the dishes take time, labor, and much practice to achieve really good results. Paczki (doughnuts) and Pierogi are among this class. Some of the Polish dishes are not simple. For instance, I can make a white borsht in less than two hours, but a proper and better tasting white borsht takes four hours of work, spread over three or four days.

So, for a while, stick to the easiest recipes. If you like some of those, perhaps you should buy a cookbook with more Polish recipes to continue building your skills. Then, come back and start working on some of the more difficult recipes.

Simple recipes include: Dry-Roasted Buckwheat, Barley soup (Krupnik), Roast Beef Roll with Mushrooms, red-beet salad with horseradish, and date mazurek.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a cookbook........ 25 Feb 2011
By M. Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An interesting compilation of old Polish recipes along with lots of historical data that I found extremely interesting. So many recipes I remember my grandmother preparing, but I was too young to appreciate her culinary talents, and never thought I'd ever want to make paczki! Maybe I never will make paczki, but now I have the recipe.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I bought this as a gift... 20 Nov 2010
By M. T. Rojek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So...I bought this for my father for his Birthday in mid-October. He is still emailing me and telling me how much he loves it. He is Polish American (both of his parents emigrated to New York as children) and very proud of his heritage, so it was only natural that I would get something that would enhance his ethnocentric views and encourage his pride.

He shared that the recipes and stories are wonderful and read the book in record time.
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