What is a pierogi you ask?
Well, friends and neighbors, since many folks don't know I will tell you but first I have to share how funny I found the fact that we have a national holiday for this culinary treat. I have been eating pierogi since I was a kid and happen to love them so upon discovering that there is a national holiday for them, official or not, I literally laughed out loud. I would never have guessed these tasty little morsels would have their own day but they do and National Pierogi Day is celebrated yearly in America on October 8 ... :)
Pierogi is plural for the rarely used Polish word pierog and is often found spelled several different ways including perogi, pierogy and oddly pierogies or perogies both of which are plural versions of the already pluralized root word.
Grandma's Polish PerogiesClick here for the recipe posted by STEPH577 on ALLRECIPES.com
Spelling and pluralizations aside basically Pierogi are a type of filled pocket dumpling made from unleavened dough (the dough is generally similar to what would be used for slippery or drop dumplings) that are stuffed with a variety of yummy fillings in limitless combinations using ingredients such as mashed potato, cheese, onion, cabbage, sauerkraut, ground meat, mushrooms and spinach or for a sweet and delicious desert option they are filled with fruit. They are traditionally semi-circular in shape and are prepared by first boiling and are then either served as is or, for those feeling more adventurous, deep fried or sauteed in butter.
But that's not all ... there is more to it! When they hit the table (if they make it that far, ours are usually eaten before they leave the kitchen counter ... yes, they are that good!) they are accompanied by a wide assortment of delicious toppings such as melted butter, sour cream, fried bacon crumbles, sauteed mushrooms and onions, green onions, and the dessert variety turn into something really special as they are topped with apple sauce, maple syrup, caramel or chocolate sauce and of course whipped cream. The choices are endless and only limited by your own taste preferences and imagination, I once topped potato and cheese filled pierogi with chopped olives, capers and sour cream!
Eastern European immigrants first popularized pierogi in the United States and by the 1960′s, pierogi began making an appearance in the frozen food aisles of grocery stores. Now they are common to find in groceries across America and are popular as a main dish, side dish or desert depending on the filling and how they are prepared.
A few more interesting facts:
- At every Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game, there is a “pierogi race” where four runners, wearing pierogi costumes, race toward a finish line. (What a hoot!)
- Whiting, Indiana celebrates an annual Pierogi Fest each July. (Not just a day but a whole fest! Go Indiana!!!)
I hope you enjoyed this little walk through "pierogidom" and if you haven't already tried them I hope you will!
Here's to very, very HAPPY NATIONAL PIEROGI DAY for everyone!