Today, October 8, is National Pierogi Day. Or is it Perogi? Or is it Perogy? Anyway, I’ll just try my best to stick to the facts. In honor of the holiday, I tried pierogies from Holy Perogy.
First, this was fortunate because I never really was madly in love with pierogies, but Holy Perogy has flavors such as fried onion, cheesy, and fully loaded potato. Is it wrong to say I didn’t love pierogies so I wanted to try varieties of pierogies?
But without further ado, here are 12 facts I learned about pierogies. I guarantee that these are 12 more things I now know about pierogies than I knew when I started.
12) The pierogi reputedly originated in Poland in the 13th century. The first recipe came from a book published in 1682 by Stanisław Czerniecki. If I was concerned about standard potato pierogies before, the original recipes came with chopped kidneys, veal fat, greens, and nutmeg. I much prefer the Loaded Potato I tried to chopped kidneys.
11) Unsurprisingly, there is a patron saint of pierogi, Saint Hyacinth. Saint Hyacinth is who is thought to have brought the dish from Poland to Ukraine. In fact, there is an old saying that goes, “Saint Hyacinth and his pierogi!” which was some form of a call for help in hopeless times.
10) There is a Guinness world record for pierogi making. In 2019, Beata Jasek ripped out over 1,000 of them in one hour.
9) Polish and other immigrants introduced pierogies to the US in the late 19th and early 20th century. Soon, pierogi restaurants started popping up.
8) The word pierogi comes from the Slavic word for a festival, so I guess that it’s a party whenever you eat it.
7) An area including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, known as the “Pierogi Pocket,” accounts for 68% of all consumption of pierogies in the United States.
6) The largest pierogi statue is in Alberta, Canada, and weighs 6,000 pounds. In fact, there’s an entire YouTube documentary you could watch about how it saved the town.
5) The Ukrainian word for pierogi is varenyky. This comes from the Ukrainian word for boiling liquid, which is basically related to the cooking process.
4) Some people traditionally will use other forms of ingredients besides potatoes, such as cabbage, sauerkraut, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese, so the pierogies I tried from Holy Perogy were not so far off.
3) Somebody actually makes pierogi Christmas Ornaments which seem to be selling out.
2) Originally, pierogies were considered peasant food, but just like the famous lobster story, they went from peasant to normal people pretty quickly.
1) In Russia, there is a word pirog, which may sound similar, but has nothing to do with pierogies.
Bonus) There is actually a Pierogi Girl who promotes the love of Ukrainian pierogi. Don’t bring up Polish pierogi with her or it might get rough.