On October 8th, National Pierogi Day recognizes an international dish that is a type of dumpling.
Pierogi is the plural form of the rarely used Polish word pierog. In English, we spell pierogi several ways, including perogi and pierogy. However you choose to spell it, pierogi are dumplings made up of unleavened dough. First, pierogi are boiled. Then, cooks will either bake or fry the dumplings in butter to finish cooking them. Usually semicircular in shape, pierogi are traditionally stuffed with a variety of savory fillings.
- mashed potato filling
- potato and cheese
- potato and onion
- ground meat
- spinach or fruit.
Other pierogi servings include melted butter, sour cream, fried bacon crumbles, sauteed mushrooms and onions and/or green onion. The dessert variety, those filled with a fruit filling, can be enjoyed topped with applesauce, maple syrup, chocolate sauce and/or whipped cream.
There are other similar types of dumpling-like dishes in other ethnic cuisines.
The Eastern European immigrants popularized pierogi in the United States. At first, immigrants served pierogi to only their families. However, ethnic restaurants also served pierogi. After World War II, ethnic churches sold pierogi as a staple fundraiser. By the 1960s, grocery stores marketed pierogi for the frozen food aisles in many parts of the United States. In fact, grocery stores still sell them today.
While pierogi are eaten as a main dish in other countries, Americans typically consider them to be a side dish.
Pierogi Tid Bits:
- The Pittsburgh Pirates hold a pierogi race at every home game. Six pierogi costume-wearing runners (Potato Pete, Jalapeño Hannah, Cheese Chester, Sauerkraut Saul, Oliver Onion and Bacon Burt) race to the finish line between innings.
- Whiting, Indiana celebrates an annual Pierogi Fest each July.
- Glendon, Alberta, Canada, is home to a 6000-pound pierogi standing 25 feet tall and is made of sturdy fiberglass and steel. Piercing the giant pierogi, built-in 1991, is an equally giant fork.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPierogiDay
While preparing dinner, make some pierogi. Then, invite some friends for pierogi. It’s a delicious way to celebrate with both savory and dessert pierogi. Ask guests to bring their favorite fillings and create a buffet.
Have some pierogi and use #NationalPierogiDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL PIEROGI DAY HISTORY
National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this savory and buffet food holiday.