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Jun 20 2014

Polish Cuisine: Pierogi

One of the joys of travelling is tasting the regional or national dish.  However, as a vegetarian, that can be tricky and I tend not to go to a country or specific region for the food as other people do.  I’m just relieved when I find something on the menu I can eat.

When I decided to go to Poland recently, I didn’t have high expectations of my food options because, as far as I was concerned, Polish food consisted of a lot of meat.  So, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered Pierogi on my first night in Warsaw.  For that reason, Pierogi is on the menu for this week’s Foto Friday.

Pierogi

I had never seen nor heard of it before until my first evening at a great vegan restaurant in Warsaw, which was close to my hostel.  While looking at an English version of the menu, I spotted pierogi.  As I had no idea what it was, I asked the owner.  The way she described it made it sound a little like Chinese dumplings, which I love, so I decided to try them.

At this particular restaurant, they are listed as pieces, so you can order 1 pieróg, 2 pierogi, or however many you want.  I was advised to have 5 or 6 for the main course.  This isn’t the norm though.  Generally in Poland, you order a dish and get several pierogi.  Being a vegan restaurant, they don’t use cheese, but fill them with tofu, potatoes, and onions etc. instead.  They were very tasty.

I was so happy to have the opportunity to try a Polish dish in Poland on my first night and, while I was in this restaurant, someone replied to a tweet I sent about pierogi…

A sweet version, really?  Fantastic!  That sounded really good, so I added it to my list of things to try.

It wasn’t until I was in Krakow that I finally got to try sweet pierogi.  I was at a restaurant with another female traveller.  We ordered pierogi with seasonal fruits, which happened to be blueberries.  With a little cream, it was a delicious dessert.

Having left Poland, I found something similar in the neighbouring countries of Slovakia and Ukraine called pirohy and varenyky respectively.

There are other traditional Polish dishes, apart from pierogi, that you can try as a vegetarian.  Beetroot  is used as a main ingredient in soups and salads and there is a fast food, which is similar to pizza, called Zapiekanka.  

Have your say

Have you tried Pierogi?  What’s your favourite Polish dish that happens to be vegetarian?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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