Pirogi cooking class will be at church


St. Stephen of Hungary Church, 854 Wilson Ave., will offer a cooking class from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in its kitchen.

Learn the basic skills for making pirogi using the recipe handed down by the grandmother of Tad Siembida, who will teach the class.

Students should take a container and aprons. Each participant will take home a recipe and at least one dozen pirogi.

The cost is $25 per person and class size is limited. Call 330-427-2752 to register.

Pirogi are considered the Polish national dish and are served in a variety of forms and tastes ranging from sweet to salty to spicy. They were traditionally peasant food, but eventually spread in popularity throughout all social classes. They are served at many festivals. At the 2007 Pirogi Festival in Krakow, Poland, 30,000 pirogi were consumed daily.

Pirogi are often filled with fresh white farmers’ cheese, potatoes and fried onions, which is the most popular in North America. More popular in Poland are pirogi filled with ground meat, mushrooms and cabbage, or for dessert, they are filled with an assortment of fruits (various berries, with either strawberries or blueberries being the most common). Sweet pirogi are usually served with sour cream, savory pirogi with bacon fat and bacon bits.

For Christmas Eve supper two types are usually served, one with sauerkraut and dried mushrooms. The other, small with only dried wild mushrooms, is served in clear borscht.

Pirogi is probably the only Polish dish that has its own patron saint, St. Hyacinth. “St. Hyacinth and his pirogi!” is an old expression of surprise, roughly equivalent to the American “good grief” or “holy smokes.” The origin of the expression is unknown.

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