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It is hard to say what a typical Christmas Eve dinner menu from Krakow looks like because the city has been influenced by many different traditions. Christmas Eve dinners in Krakow consist of dishes from Ukraine, Rhutenia, or Vienna which was famous for its confectionery. Let us take a closer look at what it used to look like.
Queen Bona Sforza and her impact on Polish culinary culture have become the stuff of legend.
The so-called kirmess dinners of Jagiellonian University professors which were organised in the Middle Ages have earned historic significance.
Monasteries, in particular the Benedictines from Tyniec and Cistercians from Mogiła, had a huge impact on the development of agriculture and horticulture in Krakow.
Zygmunt August's second wife, Barbara Radziwiłłówna, was treated incomparably better by the king than his first wife, Elżbieta. "All the expense and excess to which the king treats his wife is a wonder to all, and arouses general aversion," reported Jan Lang, Emperor Ferdinand Habsburg’s envoy, during his visit to Vilnius in 1549.
Oriental influences are among the earliest ones to be noted in the culinary arts of Krakow. All this is due to the city's presence on the most important trade routes of mediaeval Europe.
Beer has been the most popular beverage since time immemorial. It has been drunk both cold and mulled. People from all walks of life drink beer.
In the 19th century, locals drank coffee mainly at home. Elegant cafes started to crop up together with Austrian officials. And coffee shops soon became the new way of socialising in Krakow.
Jadwiga and Władysław Jagiełło took their meals separately - the king preferred eating solely in a male group, while the queen often entertained guests at the table.
In the 18th century, Krakow’s locals met mainly at homes. Restaurants were few and far between, usually adjacent to hotels and used mainly by travellers.