Now that’s food for thought! Survey reveals pork and cabbage still Poles’ number one dish
Pork chop and cabbage is still the favourite dish of Poles across all ages, according to a recent survey.
Carried out by Kantar for weekly current affairs magazine Polityka, the survey looked into the eating preferences of Poles by age, income, education level and region.
It also looked at preferences for eating out among Poles, how much they spend and who they like to eat with.
While culinary fashions are changing, the slice of breaded and fried pork loin served with potatoes and cabbage is still beating off more exotic and trendy competition from the Mediterranean and Far East.
The culinary classic has been most associated with Polish cuisine since it was pushed heavily by food authorities in Communist Poland.
'Schabowy' is not a Polish invention though. It is likely a polonised version of the Viennese veal schnitzel, which in turn is said to be a borrowing from a dish served in Lombardy, where as early as the 12th century a dish called cotoletta alla milanese was hugely popular.
It is still the preferred choice for as many as 41 percent of Poles when asked what they would want to eat for their next dinner. The list is followed by pizza/pasta (13 percent) and salad (11 percent).
Surprisingly, pork chop is also the favourite among those most likely to be influenced by the latest food fads.
Thirty-two percent of those under thirty years old chose 'schabowy'. The list was followed by kebab (17 percent ) and sushi (12 perent).
Perhaps predictable, the classic dish is a very rare choice for people who declare that they are able to spend over PLN 2000 per head in a restaurant.
The dish is also popular among vegetarians, as long as it is made from a non-meat alternative such as seitan.
The popularity of sushi varies widely across the country. Twenty-four percent of respondents in the western Lubuskie voivodeship would choose sushi for their next dinner, while only 1 percent in Podlasie would make the same choice.
“There is a clear division between the two Poland's - to put it half-jokingly, Far Eastern cuisine has been adopted most strikingly in the Polish far west,” commented Polityka.
Hamburgers have fallen almost completely out of favour with Poles with only one in a hundred dreaming of the American classic for their next meal. Nobody in Lower Silesia, Silesia, Lubuskie, Zachodniopomorskie, Podkarpackie and Lubelskie chose the dish in the survey.
The dish is, however, more popular with vegetarians, who still like the non-meat alternatives. This can be seen by the popularity of vegetarian burger restaurants in large cities such as Krowarzywa.
A surprise in the survey is the low number of respondents who declared that they have given up all animal-based products (1 percent).
Flexitarianism, though, is much more observable than full veganism. Twenty-five percent of women declared they try to cut down on meat consumption compared to 10 percent of men.
Other interesting results from the survey are that 28 percent of respondents in Podlasie would choose a salad, while Chinese takeaways are popular among mothers on childcare leave.
According to the survey, the contours of Poles' propensity to eat in restaurants and bars are largely shaped by age.
People in their twenties visit such places several times a month; older Poles less often. Those in their forties declared that they eat out several times a year, while the oldest age group mostly never.
Surprisingly, the biggest spenders in restaurants are to be found in the Łódzkie province. As many as one-third of the region's residents said they pay more than PLN 200 per person at a restaurant.
Of course, this propensity increases with higher income and higher levels of education.
The overall trend for eating out is increasing. A survey conducted by GfK before the pandemic showed that around 60 percent of Poles meet occasionally in restaurants.
In the latest survey, this figure has jumped to over 70 percent.
It is unclear yet how the current price rises will affect this figure.