Contrary to its name, this Polish cucumber dish is sweet and joyful



I discovered the cucumber salad of my dreams in my “5 Surprising Cucumber Dishes from Around the World” series. Apparently, fruit salads don’t necessarily need a variety of fruit to taste divine. Mizeria is also a unique version of the common cucumber salad, as its use of crème fraiche had me questioning why I’d never taken the time to taste this sweet ingredient on its own before!

This mizeria recipe comes from Wiktoria in Poland, who shares with us that this dish is among the most popular ones in her homeland. Made from cucumber, crème fraiche, vinegar, dill, sugar, and radishes, this side dish may steal the show at any given get-together. It is typically enjoyed with chicken or pork schnitzel and potatoes. Wiktoria’s grandmother would make mizeria often for the family, and young Wiktoria would always choose the largest portion to enjoy, which is a surefire way to tell if kids really like a certain food!

At first glance, mizeria sounded like a typical cucumber salad to me. However, upon perusing the ingredient list a little closer, I was intrigued—and rightfully so! This unique cucumber salad boasts a sweet and creamy taste from the crème fraîche, vinegary and savory flavors from the pickled cucumbers, and the distinct pleasantness of dill and crunchy radishes. However, the cucumber is, of course, the star of this dish, as it balances everything beautifully. 

Although there are plenty of cucumber salads out there, this one is far more vibrant than all the rest! It has layers in terms of texture and taste, and I think it would pair wonderfully with any vegetable, chicken, or fish dish. You can always use sour cream or Greek yogurt as a substitute for the crème fraîche, but I highly advise against this, as this particular ingredient makes mizeria extraordinary!

This tangy, sweet, crunchy salad simply changed my outlook regarding cucumbers. It is the perfect summer side dish, and it proves that cucumber shines in its own right. I hope you try Wiktoria’s mizeria and let us know what you think!

Watch the Video


  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 2 tbsp Creme Fraiche
  • 2 tbsp Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Chives or Green Onion Finely Chopped
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • Radish For Garnish


  • First peel the cucumbers and slice them  
  • Put them into a bowl and salt the cucumbers, then let them sit untill some of the water gets absorbed from the cucumbers (10/15 mins should be okay)
  • After, put one tbsp of sugar and mix
  • Then add one tbsp of vinegar 
  • after you add those, stir for a bit, and then add two tbsp of the creme fraise/ śmietana/ soured cream, and add some dill (however much your heart desires)
  • then mix it all up and sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste if you want and enjoy!!!
Course: Lunch, Snack
Region: Europe
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: Comfort food


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