Over the centuries, Polish cuisine has been shaped by its rich history, evolving into an eclectic mix of flavours. There are many similarities with other Slavic countries, in particular the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. It has also been widely influenced by Central European cuisines, namely German, Austrian and Hungarian cooking as well as Jewish, French, Turkish and Italian culinary traditions. Rich in meat, especially pork, chicken and beef depending on the region, Polish dishes often feature winter vegetables, such as cabbage in the traditional dish ‘bigos’, and plenty of herbs. They are also characteristic in their use of different kinds of noodles, the most notable of which are ‘kluski’, as well as cereals such as ‘kasha’ (from the Polish word ‘kasza’). Generally speaking, Polish dishes are hearty and use a lot of cream and eggs. Traditional meals are often demanding in preparation.