miod resize

Ambrogio Contarini, a Venetian nobleman, having traveled to Poland in the 15th century, remarked that Poles do not make wine, but they make a drink that gets you drunker than wine.

This power of mead was also to be tested by my father, when before the war, invited for mead by a nobleman from the east of Poland, he drank a glass of old mead when he was still young: he felt quite sober, as far as his head was concerned, but he could not stand up. For honey "goes into the legs".

In the past, the secrets of the production of mead were kept in every richer nobleman's house, and the meads themselves were kept, sometimes for decades. Nowadays, mead is produced in special plants called miodosytnias, and the production is called "professionally" called miodosytnictwo.

Mead is a traditional Polish product which is made after fermenting a solution of honey and water (plus possibly various additives). It is a traditional Polish product, which has been granted the status of Traditional Specialty Guaranteed in the European Union.

Although honey was drunk also in other countries and in olden times, nowhere did it reach such mastery and popularity as in Poland. In Piast Poland there were plenty of forests, bees and honey, which created the background and conditions for the use of honey in various ways, including the production of alcoholic beverages, especially in times when the cultivation of grapes and production of wine were not yet so well known and vodka was still unknown. That left mead (or beer, also popular in Poland).

Today meads are produced according to certain standards, namely:

Półtoraki - where the water in the birch is half as much as the honey

Dwójniaki - where the volume of water and honey is the same

Trójniaki - where one volume of honey falls into two volumes of water

Czwórniaki - where one unit of honey yields three units of water

Półtoraki and dwójniaki (also called royal honeys) are stronger and more expensive, they have to age longer because of ten years, while trójniaki and czwórniaki, which are weaker, don't have to age so long. Mead was drunk rather on special occasions, beer was a common and cheaper drink.

Honeys were mentioned by writers and poets describing events from the Polish tradition Mickiewicz, Kraszewski, Sienkiewicz, Klonowic to mention just a few, praising their taste, power and health effects.

With time, meads were losing out on the popular markets, when people were pouring themselves vodka and gentlemen wine.

Nowadays mead is a rarity, a memory of tradition, because not everyone can afford to buy and consume it.


(Translated with

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