If you’re tired of turkey, the typical go-to choice for traditional Christmas dinners, consider offering perogies and pelmeni at your next holiday meal. These tasty little dumplings are the ultimate comfort food, and best of all, are completely customizable to go with whatever you’re serving. There are plenty of recipes for perogies that will complement your menu and please even the pickiest eaters at the table.
An Eastern European Christmas Tradition
Perogies may be a new holiday meal idea for you, but they are actually a Christmas Eve dinner staple in Poland, as part of the Wigilia feast. In this Northern European custom, foods are served that symbolize the four corners of the earth: sea, forest, field and orchard. Traditionally, no meat is allowed and a variety of seasonally available ingredients make up the dishes served.
The Christmas version of Ukrainian, Russian and Polish perogies and pelmeni can be stuffed with wild forest mushrooms for a rich, earthy flavor or even cabbage and sauerkraut for a peppery, tart taste. Some regional versions even opt for sweet over savory with a delicious cherry filling.
In the Ukraine, perogies are commonly referred to as varenyky (vareniki in Russia). Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and other Eastern European immigrants brought these dumplings to North America roughly a century ago, and the word ‘perogies’ eventually became the popular way to refer to these delicious dumplings.
Make Perogies Your Custom Comfort Food
What’s most appealing about these flavor-packed pockets is that they’re available in so many options! Potatoes and cheese are arguably the most widely known fillings, an adaptation of Polish or Ruskie perogies. But other popular ingredients include chicken, mincemeat, fried onions, curd cheese, spinach, feta—the choices are endless!
If you decide to add these savory dumplings to your traditional Christmas feast, don’t forget to set an extra place for an unexpected guest —because as custom dictates— the tempting smell and taste of perogies will be sure to draw a crowd!
With a tantalizingly diverse selection of perogies and pelmeni to choose from, Grandma’s Perogies are a quick, nutritious way to add variety to your holiday celebrations. Look for them in your grocer’s freezer aisle.