7 Polish Barbeque and Picnic Ideas for the Summer

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the grilled kielbasa is calling…time for a Polish barbeque or picnic.

Probably every Pole you ask will have their own idea of what makes the best Polish barbeque, but here are my recommendations.


Mizeria (Polish Cucumber Salad)

Polish Mizeria

The perfect appetizer for a warm day outside, mizeria, or Polish cucumber salad, will refresh your taste buds.

It consists of thinly-sliced cucumbers topped with sour cream, lemon juice, parsley, and/or other tasty condiments.


Potato Pancakes


It’s hard to get more Polish than potato pancakes. They’re made of grated or ground potatoes that are fried and bound by egg or applesauce. They’ll make for a great side dish, next to your grilled kielbasa.




Now to the meat of the matter—the grilled Polish sausage, or kielbasa. Of course, it’s even better with some sauerkraut or onions on the side.


Naleśniki (Blintzes)

Polish Blintzes

This tasty dessert will leave you drooling for more. Naleśniki are essentially pancakes with fruit or cheese filling.

Popular fruit fillings include apple, peach, and strawberries. Oftentimes sugar is sprinkled on the top, and some people even add chocolate frosting.




Most people know of meat-, mushroom-, or cheese-filled pierogi, but a great alternative (or addition!) are fruit-filled pierogi. They can be filled with cherries, blueberries, plums and more!

A perfectly sweet snack for your summer barbeque.




Onto beverages. Try kompot, or homemade Polish fruit juice. I’ve found that nothing satisfies my thirst better after running around playing picnic games in the heat.

Kompot is made by boiling fruits (apples, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) in water so they can release their juice. You then add a few teaspoons of sugar, let it cool, and enjoy! There’s nothing quite like it.


Polish Beer

polish beer

Lastly, no Polish barbeque is complete without Polish BEER! Everyone has their favorites, but my top three recommendations are Perła, Żubr, and Okocim.

These beers are usually available at Polish delis or at grocery stores that specialize in ethnic foods.

Those are my two cents on what to have at a Polish summer barbeque. What are some of your ideas? Tell me in the comments!


Diving Into the Polish Beer Scene

polish beer

Polish beer is amazing. As the third largest producer of beer in Europe, after the United Kingdom and Germany, and the ninth largest in the world, Poland has been gaining increased respect and recognition for its beer internationally.

Poland is also the 5th-highest  beer consuming nation in the world and brewed 3.956 million kiloliters of the cold stuff in 2013. As you might imagine, this has helped create a distinct Polish beer drinking culture, but it’s not the kind  you might expect, especially among young people.

A recent article published in Polish Newsweek highlights some interesting beer drinking trends among Polish millennials. Here are some of the major ones.

No More Loner Drinking

In the U.S., we’re used to beer drinking as being a social pastime. It’s not so much about drinking the alcohol as it is about connecting with friends and having a few good laughs. Now this trend is hitting Poland. Whereas in earlier decades, Poles might have been more apt to drink alone while watching television, the millennial generation is all about the bar scene and enjoying time with friends.  Personally, I think that’s a healthier mentality.

A Growing Craft Beer Scene

Another trend picking up in Poland is one that I observed there myself—a growing interest in craft beers. I have a younger cousin in Poland who I talked beer with while visiting. He mentioned that the common Polish beers many of us have heard of—the Tyskies of the world—are seen as too mainstream for many young Poles. Instead, the craft beer scene is more varied than ever, with Poles flocking to try a whole host of local concoctions. To check out the Polish craft beer scene, visit http://www.polishcraft.beer/

The Rise of Flavored Beers

Traditionally, lagers had dominated the Polish beer market. When you think about the most common Polish beers like Zywiec, Tyskie, Okocim or Perła, they are usually pale lagers.

Now, apparently, Polish millennials have acquired a taste for sweet, flavored beers that don’t have much alcohol and taste more like orange soda than a cold one. Beer mixed with honey, juice and…cola..is becoming popular among Poland’s youth. I want to remain impartial in this post but blahhhhhhhhh!

Beer Fest Galore

Young Poles are increasingly interested in traveling around their country to discover  new beers and build their palates. From visiting tiny breweries in the middle of the Polish countryside, to attending giant beer events like the Silesia Beer Fest in Katowice, they want to expand their beer drinking horizons.

In the Polish sitcom Świat Według Kiepskich, the lead character, Ferdynand Kiepski, would always drink the same beer—Mocny Full. He wouldn’t quite fit into this current generation of Polish beer drinkers, who have an open mind never before seen in that country’s beer industry.

Having grown two-and-a-half times since 1995 and worth around 19 billion złoty ($4.8 billion), the Polish beer market is becoming one of the most robust in Europe. Who knows, perhaps one day soon people around the world will think of Polish beers before German or Belgian ones.

10 Polish Words that Sound Like English Words but Mean Totally Different Things

I recently saw a great article where the author showcased 10 words that look the same in Polish and English but mean something totally different. Click here to read it.

Anyway, that article inspired me to do a list of Polish words that sound like English words when you say them, but mean something totally different. Check them out!

Polish problems1. Stól (Pronounced STOOL):
Stoł means table in Polish, but it sounds like the stuff you find in your toilet bowl. So never ask a Pole for stool samples, unless you hired a truck to carry all the free tables you’ll get.

2. Los (Pronounced LOSS):

Los means fate in Polish, but it sounds like loss when pronounced. Actually, the Poles pronounce los slightly more delicately than English-speakers would pronounce loss.

3. Syn (Pronounced SIN):

In Polish, syn means son, but it sounds like sin when you say it. Does this mean that Poles prefer their daughters? :o)

4. Ryć (Pronounced RICH):

This Polish word, meaning to dig, engrave, or burrow sounds like rich in English. I thought of a rich guy burying all his money when I discovered this comparison.

"Raj" Bread
“Raj” Bread

5. Raj (Pronounced RYE):

Raj is the Polish word for paradise, but it sounds like rye, as in rye bread. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase  “the bread that comes down from heaven.”

6. Mak (Pronounced MOCK)

Mak refers to poppy seed in Polish, but it sounds like mock in English. I always knew those poppy seeds had a derisive air about them.

7. Lis (Pronounced LEASE):

If you say “I want to take out a lease” in Poland, they might give you a little brown, furry animal because lis means fox in Polish.

8. Typ (Pronounced TIP):

In Polish, typ means type. The two look similar, minus the “e,” but typ sounds like tip in English. I don’t even know if there is a word for tip in Polish based off my conversations with Polish servers ;P

9. PIS (Pronounced PEACE):

This isn’t a word, but an acronym for a major Polish political party (Law and Justice). I have no idea how peaceful that party is, but PIS sounds like peace in English.

10. Być (Pronounced B**ch):

I’m trying to run a clean blog here, but the Polish language isn’t letting me. Anyway, być means to be in English. This is always the most awkward word to say in Polish around other Americans. I always feel like I’m cussing, but I’m not…er…that means I am, but I don’t mean to be….sigh….

Any others? Share in the comments!!!

Polish Beer Review: Karpackie

Karpackie Beer
Karpackie Beer

It’s that time again—time for a Polish beer review! Today’s lucky lager is Karpackie Premium beer, brewed by Van Pur brewing company in Rakszawa, Poland.

If you’re looking for a beer with  a long and rich history, then Karpackie is not for you. Normally, I like to devote time to sharing the beer’s origins and history, but in this case, there is little to report. The Van Pur brewery dates back only to 1992. Although it has expanded since then, its beers simply do not share the heritage of a Warka or a Tyskie.

Karpackie is just one among many beers brewed by Van Pur. It’s name—which translates to “Carpathian”—is meant to evoke the mystique of a mountaineer’s beer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be super popular in Poland. I recently spoke with a Pole who admitted not even having heard of the beer, making it ironic that I was able to find it in the United States.

I was not disappointed with the beer itself. The keyword to describe it is sweet. Before tasting it I took a whiff and noticed a syrup-like smell. When poured, it has a decent head of bubbles, but they dissipate fairly quickly. The taste is light and sweet—some other reviewers have described it as having a light cinnamon flavor. I would liken it more to honey. Karpackie’s aftertaste also leaves a very nice, sweet flavor in your mouth. Like many other Polish lagers, it’s only 5.0% ABV, making it easy to put down one or three of these.

Overall, no serious complaints. Karpackie may not be the nectar of the gods, nor have a long and mysterious history, but it gets the job done. Overall, I give it a 6.5/10 only because there are many other better Polish beers to choose from.


Polish Beer Review: Okocim

polish okocim
A glass of Okocim (OK) beer.

If you see an image of a goat handing you a beer, it’s an Okocim. In the USA, it’s often known as “OK” beer, but it’s far more than just ok. I can’t say I’ve tried every Polish beer, but Okocim is definitely my favorite so far. It’s motto is “Podążaj za swoim pragnieniem”(Make your wish come true).

Okocim was first brewed in 1845 in the small Polish hamlet of, well, Okocim, outside the larger town of Brzesko in southern Poland. Interestingly, the brewery was founded by a German—Johann Evangelist Götz. Those Germans always make good beers. It’s currently brewed by the Carlsberg brewing company.

The beer is a Euro Pale lager with 5.60% ABV. It has an appetizingly light yellow color. Pour it with care because it has a very impressive head of bubbles, unlike many other Polish beers I drink. Bubbly beers always tempt my appetite because there’s just something healthy-looking about them. Unfortunately, the bubbles dissipate quickly with this beer.

The taste is smooth and light. Unlike a beer like Tyskie, it goes down much more easily, and you can drink it much faster. There’s even a very subtle sweetness to it. Overall, I cannot find too many faults with this beer. For those of you who like the hard, bitter alcoholic taste, this might be too light for you. But for someone with as low an alcohol tolerance as me, OK beer is great. I give it a 9/10.

okocim review