When people think of Poland, one of their first thoughts is “pierogi!” and with good reason. Pierogi are not only a delicious traditional food, but an important piece of Polish culture. These crescent shaped dumplings are filled with a variety of flavors from savory to sweet and then easily boiled or fried and ready to eat.
5 Fun Facts About Pierogi
1. It's thought that pierogi first arrive in Poland in the 13th century.
Though pierogi are believed to have been prepared in Poland since the 13th century, the first written pierogi recipe comes from the Compendium Ferculorum, a book published in 1682. This was the first Polish cookbook of the renowned cook Stanisław Czerniecki. These historic pierogi were not filled with potatoes (which were not common in 17th century Poland), but with chopped kidneys, veal fat, greens and nutmeg.
2. There is a patron saint of pierogi.
There is a patron saint of pierogi. Saint Hyacinth is thought to have brought pierogi to Poland from what is now modern day Ukraine. There is an old Polish saying "Święty Jacku z pierogami!” (“Saint Hyacinth and his pierogi!”) which was a call for help in the midst of hopeless circumstances. It is believed that on July 13th 1238, in the town of Kościelec, a hailstorm broke out during his visit destroying all of the crops. Hyacinth told the people to pray and the following day the crops were miraculously restored. The people thanked Hyacinth by making him pierogi from the crops.
3. Poland has special restaurants just for pierogi called Pierogarnia.
When you visit Poland you will find many restaurants called Pierogarnia. These restaurants specialize in making pierogi with dozens of different fillings. Some of the most popular pierogi fillings are potatoes and cheese, cabbage and mushrooms, strawberries or blueberries, and a variety of meats. The options for fillings are endless!
4. There is a Guinness World Record for pierogi making.
Anyone who has made pierogi from scratch knows that it is not always and easy task. The Guinness Record for making pierogi was set in 2019 by Beata Jasek from Kraków. She made over a thousand pierogi (1066 to be exact!) in one hour, the equivalent of making one pierogi every 3.4 seconds!
5. There is an area of the United States known as the "Pierogi Pocket."
There is an area of the United States known as the “Pierogi Pocket.” Two thirds of the yearly US pierogi consumption in an area that includes New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Chicago, Detroit and parts of New England. Pittsburgh holds a pierogi festival and a pierogi race during every home Pirates baseball game after the 5th inning. During this race, contestants in pierogi costumes compete for a pierogi prize.
Learn more about how you can eat pierogi in Poland here!
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