A note on the spelling of 'perogy'
spelling and the spelling most common in the United States
it seems is pierogi
. In Canada
however the accepted spelling is perogy
. Why the difference? This delicious little dumpling
is a well travelled snack and the English
name was derived from whichever culture happened to be most prevalent in the area. In Canada, western Canada at least, we have far more Mennonite
immigrants than we do Polish immigrants so our name comes from Mennonite Plautdietsch
The book Mennonite Food and Folkways from South Russia
tells us that three words 'varenyky
', and 'phyrohy
' are often used to describe the same thing, but apart from the half-circle dough vehicle these 3 things are very different foods.
The origin of varenyky
is the Russian word for boil
. Typically referring to a small half circle dumpling, filled with cottage cheese
and boiled. Varenyky can be stuffed with other things though, such as seasonal fruits and potatoes.
Perogi on the other hand means bake, so perogies are half circle dumplings baked in the oven. A pyrohy is a large perogi and in some cases a large pie. Pyr
is an obsolete Ukrainian
word for banquet.
Despite all of this, in North America
, unless your grandmother is making them, perogy almost always refers to a boiled dumpling stuffed with potato and cheese
For the sake of completeness, the Plautdietsch versions of these words are Varenikje
, and Pyrohy
. The Russian pronunciation of perogy is Pirozhki
. There is also a Turkish
variant from Crimea
Src: Mennonite Food and Folkways from South Russia, Volume I
- Norma Jost Voth