Amid all the vodka drinking, clearly the national preference is for rye vodka. (Sorry, Chopin.) Given how intimately vodka and dining are linked in Poland, the preference makes sense. Good rye-based vodka, with its clean, light mouth-feel and short, hot finish, is well suited to the foods that Poles love. Deliciously oily herring, pickled vegetables, fried pierogi, garlicky sliced meats, and rich roasts are all perfect counterpoints to vodka's steely minerality and its solvent-like alcohol. In concert, these qualities lift strong flavors and mouth-coating fats off the tongue in preparation for the next bite.