Friday, July 29, 2016

Polish Pierogi Not Russian ~ Remembering ....

I love Polish food as much as I love Italian. The best Polish food that is simple and filling can be no other than pieorgi... filled with potato and cheese, or just cheese, or meat and even fruit. Yum!

Polish pierogi are usually boiled in salted water. Baked or even deep fried pierogi are also popular. There exists tons of recipes both for the stuffing and for the dough. During decades of communist regime, Poles usually could only "enjoy" the more simple rural versions with basic toppings. Perhaps this is why nowadays a lot of eateries and homes are tempted to experiment with extravagant stuffing and fancy toppings to turn this simple dish into a gourmet delicacy.

Pierogi arrived on Polish territories in the 13th century probably imported from the Far East via eastern neighbors such as Kievian Rus (today's Ukraine). In the past, pierogi were more popular in the eastern borderlands of Old Poland than in the west. It seems that pierogi ruskie, which are stuffed with potatoes and farmer's cheese, are one of the most popular varieties nowadays. The name pierogi ruskie, which is commonly translated as Russian dumplings, misleads not only Poles but also foreigners.

Make no mistake! The name does not indicate any Russian origin since such food is unknown there. Ruskie pierogi arrived from a prewar region of Poland which is now part of the Ukraine. Indeed, before 1945 Ukrainians used to call this particular variety of pierogi ‘Polish pierogi’. It is likely that “pierogi ruskie” were created by Poles living in Ukraine at the time.

We like them boiled or boiled then fried in butter or in lard with bacon bits to crisp up the edges... a pinch of paprika adds extra zest. Always served with sour cream, what a brainy fast and frugal meal!

There is no added sugar here but if there is any 'hidden' sugar its only naturally occurring in the very basic ingredients used in acceptable amounts.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

* Source ~ 'Polish Food 101' []

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