Zapiekanka, famously known as Polish pizza, is a type of open sandwich which is made with a half baguette to which sautéed mushrooms and gratin cheese are added. It is then baked until the bread is crisp and the cheese is melted. To add more flavor to the dish, it is usually served with ketchup.
Throughout Poland, you can find zapiekanka stalls or shops. The price ranges from 4 to 12 zł (which is roughly approximately equal to $1 to $3), depending on the area, the ingredients and the size, which, in some cases, can go up to 50 cm long! So, for a very affordable price, you can enjoy a delicious and quick dish to kill hunger.
Origin and Cultural Significance
The origin of the zapiekanka dates back to the 1970s in the years of the Soviet Union. However, the dish actually started gaining popularity years later during a period of austerity in Poland. Its name is derived from the Polish verb zapiekać, which means “to bake”.
Zapiekanka owes its popularity in Poland to the era of the People’s Republic of Poland, when it became, in a sense, a response to the American hot dogs and hamburgers. Thanks to this, the result was a crispy, cut bun with stuffing and mushrooms.
The popularity of this dish is also due to the fact that since it involves a mixture of various ingredients, everyone can choose the perfect composition for themselves. It is perfect both as a snack and for a meeting with friends.
Zapiekanka is a very popular dish in Poland, served not only as fast food in various types of bars, kiosks or train stations, but also often as a dinner dish. Thus becoming an indispensable feature of many meal times.
You can find a wide variety of zapiekanka with different ingredients added to the basic recipe, such as ham, bacon, pineapple, the famous kiełbasa sausage, onion, different types of cheeses, as well as different types of sauces.
Polish Zapiekanka Recipe
- Baguettes (fresh) - 2
- Gouda Cheese Cubes - 4
- Sweet Pepper
- Mushrooms - 500g
- Cut the baguettes in half lengthwise and lightly grease them with butter. Grate the gouda cheese on a large mesh.
- Wash the mushrooms thoroughly and then cut them into slices. You can place the mushrooms on a baguette right away, sprinkle with cheese and put them in the oven. However, the dish will be tastier if you fry the mushrooms first and then bake them.
- Put the sliced mushrooms in a hot frying pan with oil and season them with a little pepper and sweet paprika. When the mushrooms are fried, take them out of the pan and place them evenly on the baguette.
- Finally, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in the oven set to 180 degrees until the cheese is melted. Serve hot with ketchup.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 392mgCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 12g