The 8th of October is Pierogi Day.
You get to have pierogi for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Do you eat pierogi as a main course, or a side dish? And do you like yours just simply boiled, or boiled then fried or baked? Many people swear by the combination of boiling then frying to give the pierogi a combination of tender and crisp textures, but have you ever had deep-fried pierogi?
Have you ever made pierogi from scratch? If so, how many can you make an hour? Some people have the knack of being able to turn out dozens an hour, especially those who make them for churches and community centres to be sold as fundraisers.
Have you ever tried healthier pierogi made with a whole wheat dough?
What are your favourite pierogi fillings?
Filling ideas include: artichoke, bacon and caraway, beets or beet greens, cabbage, cheese such as cottage cheese, Farmer’s cheese or quark cheese, eggplant and spinach, ground meat, ham, kale, leek, lobster, mushroom, onion chutney, potato, pulled pork, roasted bell peppers, salmon, sausagemeat, sauerkraut, shrimp, spinach and cheese, sweet potato, paneer and basil, or savoury pumpkin. What about pierogi stuffed with scrambled egg and bacon for breakfast? Or Jalapeno Popper or Philly Cheesesteak pierogis? Curried potato and pea? Reuben pierogi, a pierogi pizza or a pierogi casserole?
Did you know, there’s even an actual named variety of pierogi called “Ruthenian” or “Ruskie Pierogi”, which are stuffed with potato and quark cheese (often substituted with cottage cheese in North America.)
What are your favourite toppings or sides? Garnish or dipping ideas include buffalo sauce, crispy sautéed sage, crumbled fried bacon, fried mushrooms, fried onions, chopped fresh green onion or chives, a melted butter sauce, Maggi sauce, and sour cream.
Have you ever had dessert pierogi? Dessert pierogi can be stuffed with apples and cinnamon, and served with a warm, melted butter sauce. Or filled with strawberries, sweetened chestnut purée, blueberries, sour cherry, pumpkin spice, gingerbread, prunes — the dessert ideas are endless!
What do you like your dessert ones topped with? Applesauce, syrup, whipped cream?
Whatever kind of pierogi you have, be sure to have some today to celebrate. And while you’re at it, raise a toast and a nod to St Hyacinth, who is the patron saint of pierogi! In Polish, “St Hyacinth and his pierogis (Swiety Jacek z pierogami!)” is an expression of surprise.
Activities for today
- Grab a bag of frozen pierogi from your supermarket, or, order a box from your local church or community hall that makes them;
- have friends over for a pierogi feast, and ask them to bring their favourite toppings and sides to swap and share;
- go with a bunch of your friends to a Polish restaurant for lunch or dinner today;
- scour the local events calendar for the next pierogi supper at a church or community hall near you;
- sign up for a pierogi making class;
- look for deals at restaurants or food trucks;
- share your pierogi meal, whether homemade or bought, on social media;
- go to a polka dance;
- try pierogi as dumplings in a soup;
- try pierogi as an ingredient in a recipe, rather than just on their own.
Mrs. T’s Pierogies has great ideas for how to incorporate pierogi into dishes:
“Ruthenian” or “Ruskie Pierogi” (New York Times)
The first print mention that CooksInfo is aware of for a Pierogi Day in October dates from 2009 in Pennsylvania:
“Thursday [8 October 2009] may have been National Pierogi Day but ‘that doesn’t mean that (Lackawanna County) Commissioner (A.J.) Munchak will be making homemade Russian pierogies for his Luzerne County counterpart, Commissioner (Greg) Skrepenak’, reports Charlotte Wright of the Red Cross.” — Bonifianti, Terry. Name dropper. Scranton, Pennsylvania: The Times-Tribune. Friday, 9 October 2009. Page A2, col. 2.
Pierogi is plural. The singular is “pierog” — but who ever has a single pierogi?
The word is also transliterated into English as “pierogy”, “peroyi” and “perogy”.
Other cuisines may know them as “vareniki” or “pedaheh“.
Banks, Rob. Where To Celebrate National Pierogi Day in Buffalo. Buffalo, New York: WYRK Radio. 8 October 2020. Accessed September 2021 at https://wyrk.com/where-to-celebrate-national-pierogi-day-in-buffalo/
Boguski, Katrina. National Pierogi Day – October 8: Pierogi Day and why it matters to Canada. Barry’s Bay, Ontario: The Valley Gazette. 7 October 2020. Accessed September 2021 at https://thevalleygazette.ca/national-pierogi-day-october-8/
Cain, Brenda and Yadi Rodriguez. We tasted and ranked every pierogi flavor at legendary Rudy’s in Parma for National Pierogi Day. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland.com. 8 October 2020. Accessed September 2021 at https://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/2020/10/we-tasted-and-ranked-every-pierogi-flavor-at-legendary-rudys-in-parma-for-national-pierogi-day.html
Haidet, Ryan. Rudy’s Strudel & Bakery hosting parking lot party for National Pierogi Day. Cleveland, Ohio: WKYC TV. 8 October 2020. Accessed September 2021 at https://www.wkyc.com/article/life/food/national-pierogi-day-rudys-strudel-bakery-parma/95-3272c4e2-ee36-4d55-9dca-358047f01556
Morris, Seren. National Pierogi Day: The Best Pierogi Deals. Newsweek Magazine. 8 October 2019. Accessed September 2021 at https://www.newsweek.com/national-pierogi-day-deals-facts-1463504
National Pierogi Day is Oct. 8. Cheektowaga, New York: Am-Pol Eagle. Accessed September 2021 at https://ampoleagle.com/national-pierogi-day-is-oct-p8250-129.htm
Hall, Lauren. Polish Villa celebrates National Pierogi Day. Buffalo, New York: WGRZ TV. 8 October 2019. Accessed September 2021 at
Mrs. T’s Pierogies. Mark Your Calendars! National Pierogy Day Is October 8th. Shenandoah, Pa: PR Newswire. 5 October 2017. Accessed September 2021 at