Polish Language Blog

Two Polish soups that will help you cure a hangover! Posted by on Jan 23, 2019 in Culture

You know the feeling. Your limbs feel like they’re filled with slime, your head is pounding, and you’re overcome with nausea. After a long night of drinking, morning has come too soon…You probably remember nights/mornings like that from high school (well, in Europe at least, where you don’t have to be 21 to legally drink), college or a night out with your friends in adult life.

As you stand up sometime later and walk to the mirror, you see your eyes as red as a ripe tomato. One question arises above all others: “What the hell happened last night?”

Image courtesy pixabay.com

It turned out that centuries of vodka drinking in Poland produced quite a few insane hangover cures, many of which work wonders…

There is a pickle juice (sok z kiszonych ogórków), kefir (It is a fermented milk drink rich in vitamin B, folic acid, and easily digestible proteins. It has lots of nice bacteria that really help in calming down your stomach. It can be drunk by all of you who are lactose intolerant because the lactose becomes lactic acid during fermentation.), honey – miód – honey contains Potassium, which helps with rehydration, fructose and antioxidants.

And then there are two amazing soups: flaki (also known as flaczki) and żurek! And no wonder they are usually both served after the whole night of dancing and drinking during weddings! They are served at the end of the night and/or as a first dish on the second day of the wedding celebration (yes – Poles like to have multi day wedding parties!).

Flaki are made from the digestive system of a cow or a pig (often the intestines). You’ll find this hangover cure in many cuisines. So many cultures put tripe at the top of their list of hangover foods. They all can’t be wrong. Rich in zinc and B vitamins, tripe soup returns most of what you lost while drinking, if not your pride. High levels of fatty acids and protein help shore up queasy stomachs. As not appetizing as it sounds for most of my friends here in the USA, I have to admit it is one of my favorite soups! Can’t wait to have it next time I’m visiting Poland;)

Żurek is a sour rye soup with sausage, potatoes and hardboiled eggs (there are different versions of it with ham and different vegetables as well). Extra advantage is that you can prepare it before drinking and warmed up the next day it’s still very tasty. The preparation starts four or five days before you start cooking. Fortunately, nowadays, you can also buy instant  żurek – just mix it with water, add cooked sausage and hard boiled eggs and you are all set!

Instant żurek my parents send to me all the time!

Of course, the best thing is to “prevent and to drink responsibly”…But…

As a Polish saying states:”Human is not a camel – he has to drink” (Człowiek nie wielbłąd – pić musi). As a consequence, human also has to deal with hangovers!

Also, check out  this great article about 100 hangover cure from around the world!

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.