I am deeply in love with culinary traditions even though I would be glad to explore some unknown ones instead of sticking unchangeably to our national pot heritage. Especially that there are some points on the menu which do not stimulate my ethusiasm to eating.
One of such immortal dishes - traditionally served on the New Year's Day - is bigos, supposedly brought to Poland by king Władysław Jagiełło (coming from great Lithuanian dynasty) in 15th century. I wonder how a nation can eat bigos for more than 500 years and still be alive...
The main ingredient is sauerkraut usually combined with fresh cabbage and simmered for ages with different kinds of greasy meats and sausages as well as dried mushrooms and plums, onion and other condiments. There are options of adding wine, tomato sauce, honey, smoked plums or even plum jam as well.
The longer the proccess lasts, the better the outcome is supposed to be. So you have it re-heated every day and then left overnight, and again, and then you eat it for several days as nobody would put so much effort into a small pot. Bigos best companions are bread and vodka.
Men that I know would go at any length to have it cooked for them even if many of them pays the price of feeling sick after these heavy marathons.
Personally, I strongly dislike the smell and do not care about the flavor, too. I'd rather have my endive baked with camembert and garlic under sighs of true disbelief about his unforgivable rebellion against tradition.