Until the Partitions perpetrated by the neighboring empires, Poland was one of the largest countries in the world, and encompassed many regions with their own, distinctive culinary traditions. Two consecutive Polish kings, Władysław IV and John II Casimir (Polish: Jan II Kazimierz Waza) married the same French Duchess, Marie Louise Gonzaga (Polish: Ludwika Maria), daughter of Charles I, Duke of Mantua; persecuted by King Louis XIII of France for her affiance to his opponent Gaston, Duke of Orléans. Marie Louise arrived in Warsaw in 1646, was widowed, and married again in 1649. Ludwika brought along with her a court full of Frenchmen including courtiers, secretaries, army officers, physicians, merchants, craftsmen, as well as many cooks.
Records show that her visiting guests were entertained with the following fowl: waxwings, fieldfares, snow bunting, hazel grouse, partridges, black grouse, capercaillies and the forest game: loach, trouts, grayling, salmon fresh and smoked, flounders, salted herring, lampreys in vinegar, oysters, snails, and Genoese pâté, not to mention fresh fruit and chestnuts. French and Italian wines were served, as well as mead and local beers. The dishes were made only according to French recipes. The royal court with all its innovations exerted a broad influence over the rest of aristocratic residences and noble palaces across Poland. French cuisine was in fashion and many families willingly employed French cooks and pâté makers. In the mid-18th century on Polish tables appeared the French champagne. Also, among the most influential in that period were Lithuanian, Jewish, German and Hungarian cuisine, not to mention Armenian, which arrived in Poland before the 17th century along with many settlers especially in the south-eastern part of the Commonwealth. Signature dishes of the Western Asia reached Polish tables thanks to the Armenian trade and cultural exchange with Poland’s neighbor – the Ottoman Empire. Rare delicacies were brought to royal court as gifts from sultans and royal envoys. The strongest influences were noted in the cities of Lwów, Kraków, Kamieniec Podolski and Zamość due to many Armenians living there permanently. Also, because of the close contact with the Ottoman Empire, coffee (kawa) and boza became popular.
With the subsequent decline of Poland, and the grain production crisis that followed The Deluge, potatoes began to replace the traditional use of cereal. The oldest surviving Polish cook-book, Compendium ferculorum, albo Zebranie potraw (“Collection of Dishes”) by Stanisław Czerniecki was published in Kraków in 1682. Under the partitions, the cuisine of Poland became heavily influenced by cuisines of the surrounding empires. This included Russian and German cuisines, but also the culinary traditions of most nations of the Austro-Hungarian empire. The 19th century also saw the creation of many Polish cookbooks, by Jan Szyttler, Anna Ciundziewicka, Wincenta Zawadzka, Lucyna Ćwierczakiewiczowa and others.