Infobox Prepared Food
name = Pierogi

caption = A plateful of pierogi topped with fried onions
alternate_name = Perogi
country =
region = Eastern Europe
creator =
course = Appetizer, main, dessert
served = Hot
main_ingredient = Unleavened dough with savory or sweet filling
variations = Multiple
calories =
other =

Pierogi (also perogi, perogy, pirohi, piroghi, pirogi, pirogen, pierogy, or pyrohy), from the Proto-Slavic "pir" (festivity), is the name most commonly used in English speaking areas to refer to a variety of Slavic semicircular (or, in some cuisines, square) boiled dumplings of unleavened dough stuffed with varying ingredients. Their specific origins are unknown. Though they have strong ties to Slavic culture, similar foods occur in many cultures across Europe and Asia: tortellini and ravioli in Italy, manti in Turkey and Central Asia, khinkali in the Caucasus, gyoza in Japan, wanton and jiaozi in China, mandu in Korea, and more.

In some East European languages, they are known by words derived from the root of the word "to boil". These include the Belarusian vareniki (варэнiкi), Latvian vareņiki (borrowed from Russian), Russian vareniki (варе́ник [и] ), Ukrainian varenyky (варе́ник [и] ) (literally "boiled thing," from the adjective form "varenyy"). In these languages, words derived from "pir", such as the Russian pirogi (пироги), refer to a different type of food, such as pies or pirozhki.

ingular and plural

Pierogi are usually small enough to be served several or many at a time, so the singular form is rather rare; people usually talk about several of them. This has affected forms of the word in different languages. In Polish, "pierogi" is plural, "pieróg" being singular. Other Slavic languages follow the same scheme, with Russian "vareniki" the plural of "varenik" and Ukrainian "varenyky" the plural of "varenyk" (both derived from the root "varit"', "to boil").


Pierogi are of an unknown origin. They have strong links to Slavic culture, but both Slavic and non-Slavic peoples in Europe have pierogi as a part of their cuisine: Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Slovaks. There is a definite similarity to Italian ravioli. In East Asia, similar food is served, such as Chinese jiaozi, Japanese gyoza, and Korean mandu.

Recipe variation


Pierogi or vareniki are half circular dumplings of unleavened dough, stuffed (singularly or in various combinations) with mashed potatoes, cheese, farmer's cheese, bryndza, cabbage, sauerkraut, meat, mushrooms, or other savory ingredients depending on the cook's personal preferences. [http://kokblog.mw2mw.com/80/ Pierogi recipes and preparation] ] Dessert versions of the dumpling can be stuffed with a fresh fruit filling, such as cherry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, peach, or apple; stoned prunes are also sometimes used.

Mashed potatoes mixed with farmer's cheese and fried onions is a popular filling in Poland and Ukraine. In Poland this variety is called Ruskie pierogi. ["Ruskie pierogi" is often erroneously translated as "Russian pierogi", although the adjective "Ruskie" refers to Kievan Rus' rather than Russia, and correct translation is therefore "Ruthenian pierogi".] A popular filling for pierogi in Canada is mashed potatoes mixed with grated cheddar cheese.


The dough is rolled flat and then cut into circles using a cup or drinking glass. The filling is placed in the middle and the dough folded over to form a half circle. The pierogi or vareniki are boiled until they float, drained, and sometimes fried in butter before serving. They can be served with melted butter, plenty of sour cream, or garnished with small pieces of fried bacon, onions, and also mushrooms. [ [http://www.urbancookingguide.com/tips/1-Perogies-with-Mushrooms-and-Onions.html Bacon, onion, and mushroom topping for fried pierogi] ] [ [http://www.ezycook.com/pasta_perohe.html Recipe for pierogi and vareniki] ] Dessert varieties may be topped with apple sauce. Some Polish families in North America serve them with maple syrup.

Pierogi in various nations, regions, and ethnicities


In Hungarian cuisine, the equivalent of pierogi is "derelye", pasta pockets filled with jam or sometimes meat. [ [http://www.chew.hu/derelye_lekvaros_sonkas_vagy_h.html Derelye recipe] ] Derelye is consumed primarily as a festive food for special occasions such as weddings.Fact|date=August 2008


The Jewish Ashkenazi version is called "pirogen", which are usually boiled and fried before serving. [ [http://www.kingkold.com/index.php?id=5 A package of pirogen.] ] A related Jewish dish are the kreplach, which are tortelini shaped dumplings boiled and served as a side dish or in clear soup.

North America

Pierogi are widespread in Canada and the United States, having been popularized not only by Slavic immigrants. They are particularly common in areas with large Slavic-derived populations, such as western Pennsylvania, northern Alberta, the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and Toronto, Ontario. Pierogi at first were a family food among immigrants as well as being served in ethnic restaurants. In the post-World War II era, freshly cooked pierogi became a staple of fundraisers by ethnic churches.

By the 1960s, pierogi were a common supermarket item in the frozen food aisles in many parts of the United States and Canada. Pierogi maintain their place in the grocery aisles to this day.

Numerous towns with Polish or Ukrainian heritage celebrate the pierogi. The city of Whiting, Indiana celebrates the food at its annual Pierogi Fest every July. [ [http://www.pierogifest.net Annual Pierogi Festival in Whiting, Indiana] ] Pierogi are commonly associated with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There is a pierogi race at every home Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game and the word "pierogi" is a feature of the local English dialect. The village of Glendon in Alberta, Canada erected in 1993 a roadside tribute to this culinary treat: a 25-foot (7.6 m) fiberglass perogy (preferred local spelling), complete with fork. [ [http://www.bigthings.ca/alberta/glendon.html "World's Largest Pierogi" in Glendon, Alberta] ]


The Canadian Prairies, in particular, have a large Ukrainian population, and their pyrohy or perogy (plural: "perogies") (Canadian English IPA | [pəˈroːgi] ) are very common. Since Canada also has immigrants from many other perogy-making cultures (not least Poles, Jews, and Mennonites), a wide diversity of recipes are used.

Packed frozen perogies can be found everywhere Eastern European immigrant communities exist and are generally ubiquitous across Canada, even in big chain stores. Such perogi are made by industrial machines. Each perogy typically weighs around 20 grams, but resemble an oversized half-moon ravioli, as the Italian machines are also used in the production of Italian pasta. Typically frozen flavours include potato with either cheddar, bacon, or cottage cheese.

Home-made versions are typically filled with one of the following: mashed potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper (and frequently cheddar cheese), sauerkraut, or fruit. These are then boiled, and either served immediately, put in ovens and kept warm, or fried in oil or butter. Popular fruit varieties include strawberry, blueberry, and the distinctly Canadian saskatoon berry. Potato and cheese or sauerkraut versions are usually served with some or all the following: butter or oil, sour cream (typical), fried onions, fried bacon bits or kubasa (sausage), and a creamy mushroom sauce (less common).

National chain restaurants also feature the dish or variations. Boston Pizza has a sandwich and a pizza flavoured to taste like perogi, while Smitty's serves theirs as an appetizer deep-fried with salsa. Some Chinese cafés in the Canadian Prairies have taken to billing their potstickers (jiaozi) as “Chinese perogies”.

Speakers of the local Canadian Ukrainian dialect call them "pyrohy", which can be misheard "pedaheh" by Anglophones unaccustomed to the fast rolled-r sound, or alveolar trill. They are known as "varenyky" in standard Ukrainian, and "pyrohy" there refers to a different dish, which is often a source of confusion.

United States

In the United States, the term "pierogi" is commonly taken to mean Polish pierogi.

Many of these grocery brand pierogi contain non-traditional ingredients to appeal to general American tastes, including spinach, jalapeño peppers and chicken.

Pierogi enjoyed a brief popularity as a sports food when Paula Newby-Fraser adopted them as her food of choiceFact|date=August 2008 for the biking portion of the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. For more than a decade thereafter, Mrs. T's (the largest American pierogi manufacturer) sponsored triathlons, [ [http://www.active.com/special_events/mrst_2000/index.cfm?CHECKSSO=0 Mrs. T's Triathlon] , Chicago, 2000] some professional triathletes and "fun runs" around the country. For many triathletes, pierogi represented a tasty alternative to simple pasta as a way to boost their carbohydrate intakes.Fact|date=June 2008

Pierogi consumption in the United States is largely concentrated in a geographical region dubbed the "Pierogi Pocket", an area including New York state, Pennsylvania, parts of the northern Midwest and southern New England. This region accounts for 68 percent of annual US pierogi consumption. Mrs. T's, based in Shenandoah, PA, names an annual pierogi capital of this region; [ [http://www.pierogypocket.com/vote_form.aspx Mrs. T's Capital of the Pierogy Pocket ballot] ] the 2007 capital was Binghamton, NY. [ [http://fish-outta-water.blogspot.com/2007/11/binghamton-capital-of-pierogi-pocket-of.html Binghamton: capital of pierogi 2007] ]


Pierogi (singular pieróg) are served in a variety of forms and tastes (ranging from sweet to salty to spicy) in Polish cuisine. Pierogi were traditionally peasant food, but eventually spread in popularity throughout all social classes, including nobles. They are served at many festivals, playing an important role as a cultural Polish dish. At the 2007 Pierogi Festival in Kraków, 30,000 pierogi were consumed daily. Polish pierogi are often filled with fresh white cheese (farmer's cheese or quark), potatoes, and fried onions; in this form, they are called "Ruskie Pierogi", which is the most popular variety in North America. In Poland more popular are pierogi filled with ground meat, mushrooms, or for dessert an assortment of fruits. Poles traditionally serve two types of pierogi for Christmas Eve supper. One kind is filled with sauerkraut and dried mushrooms, another – small uszka filled only with dried wild mushrooms – are served in clear borscht. Leniwe pierogi ("lazy pierogi") are a different type of food, similar to lazy vareniki, kopytka, or halushki.


In Russian cuisine, the closest analogue to pierogi are vareniki. Pelmeni, which are meat filled, are also similar. As mentioned above, Polish speakers often call mashed potatoes with farmer's cheese and onion Ruthenian pierogi ( _pl. Ruskie pierogi).


Ukrainian cuisine has some of the same word differentiation complexity as Russian, made even more complex by differences among immigrant populations. Though sometimes they are deep fried and served with things such as cheese, they are traditionally boiled. (As was stated earlier, varenyky means literally "boiled thing," from the adjective form varenyy) and are served with fried onions, fried bacon bits, and sour cream. Many North Americans of Ukrainian descent use the term pierogi, but the term "varenyky" or "vareniki" (from "varyt, "to boil") may also be used, and Ukrainians also prepare the somewhat similar pelmeni. Pyrohi"' (пироги) in Ukraine refers to a type of baked or fried bun generally served as dessert, filled with fruit or poppy seeds and made with a sweeter dough than that of the Varenyky.

Notes and references

ee also

* Baozi (steamed stuffed buns in Chinese cuisine)
* Kluski (boiled or steamed buns without a filling in Polish cuisine)
* Lithuanian cuisine
* Mantou (plain steamed bun in Chinese cuisine)

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