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Did You Know That St Hyacinth Is The Patron Saint Of Pierogi?

On October 8th, National Pierogi Day recognizes an international dish that is a type of dumpling.

  • Pierogi is the plural form of the rarely used Polish word pierog. In English, we spell pierogi several ways, including perogi and pierogy.
  • The Eastern European immigrants popularized pierogi in the United States. At first, immigrants served pierogi to only their families. However, ethnic restaurants also served pierogi.
  • After World War II, ethnic churches sold pierogi as a staple fundraiser.
  • By the 1960s, grocery stores marketed pierogi for the frozen food aisles in many parts of the United States.
  • Did you know that St Hyacinth is the patron saint of pierogi? His feast day is celebrated on the 17th of August and his birthday is the 15th of the same month. He was said to have walked the streets of Kraków handing out pierogi, which were a luxury food item of the time, to the poor, destitute and needy.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates hold a pierogi race at every home game. Six pierogi costume-wearing runners (Potato Pete, Jalapeño Hannah, Cheese Chester, Sauerkraut Saul, Oliver Onion and Bacon Burt) race to the finish line between innings.
  • Whiting, Indiana celebrates an annual Pierogi Fest each July. There are tons of fun activities including a Polka Parade, a Mr. Pierogi songfest, a pierogi toss, a pierogi eating contest, and more. They even have a Polish Idol singing contest where contestants choose from a preapproved list of songs all about food. This festival draws almost 200,000 people each year!
  • Glendon, Alberta, Canada, is home to a 6000-pound pierogi standing 25 feet tall and is made of sturdy fiberglass and steel. Piercing the giant pierogi, built-in 1991, is an equally giant fork.
  • Pierogi enjoyed a brief popularity as a sports food when Paula Newby-Fraser adopted them as her food of choice for the biking portion of the 1989 Hawaii Ironman Triathlon.
  • Pierogi have been made in Poland since the 13th century.
  • The first written pierogi recipe comes from the Compendium Ferculorum, a book published in 1682.
  • Some suggest that the original form came from China through Italy during the Marco Polo expeditions.
  • Others suggest that the Tartars brought the recipe to the West from the former Russian Empire.
  • We also know that back then, pierogi was prepared for holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and weddings. Each holiday actually had its own designated pierogi flavor.
  • 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!
  • Poland has its own dedicated pierogi restaurant called “Pierogarnia.”  You can see them on many street corners.
  • At the 2007 Pierogi Festival in Kraków, 30,000 pierogi were consumed daily.
  • Ted Twardzik Sr. founded Mrs. T’s Pierogies on October 8, 1952, producing the first samples for a local grocery store. Mrs. T’s remains the largest producer of (frozen) pierogi in the U.S.
  • 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.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Mobile-Cuisine

Faith Based Events

Polska Foods

Hub Pages

Key to Poland