National Pierogi Day is observed annually on October 8. This is a day to enjoy this delicious side dish.
Pierogi is the plural form of the rarely used Polish word pierog. The word Pierogi can be found spelled several ways including perogi and pierogy. However you choose to spell it, pierogi are dumplings made up of unleavened dough that are first boiled then sometimes baked or fried in butter. Usually semicircular in shape, they are traditionally stuffed with a mashed potato filling, potato and cheese, potato and onion, cheese, cabbage, sauerkraut, ground meat, mushroom, spinach or fruit.
Pierogi are often served with melted butter, sour cream, fried bacon crumbles, sauteed mushrooms and onions and/or green onion. The dessert variety, those filled with a fruit filling, can be enjoyed topped with applesauce, maple syrup, chocolate sauce and/or whipped cream.
There are other similar types of dumpling-like dishes in other ethnic cuisines.
It was the Eastern European immigrants that popularized pierogi in the United States. At first, pierogi were a family food among the immigrants and were also found in ethnic restaurants; Freshly cooked pierogi became a staple fundraiser for ethnic churches in the post-World War II era. By the 1960s, pierogi were being marketed for the frozen food aisles of grocery stores in many parts of the United States.
While pierogi are eaten as a main dish in other countries, Americans typically consider them to be a side dish.
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