December 16, 2011

Molly B’s Pierogies

One of my favourite things about living in Poland was the fresh pierogies I could buy at the store. I know most people had their mom or babcia making them, but I didn’t have that luxury. I would go down to one of the stores and buy them fresh in the deli section, just like some people buy sushi at their local Loblaws. Once spring rolled around strawberry pierogies were lined up in packets and I would stock up like they were going out of style. They were a wonderful breakfast.

Years later my sister and I made a trip back to visit our relatives and on a stop in Krakow we discovered a pierogie café just off the main square – Pierogarnia. We were in heaven. There were so many different fillings! On our first visit we split our order, sharing my apple and her strawberry. They were so delicious. We told ourselves that if we returned to Krakow, we’d go back there. Now it may only be a memory as with this gluten hassle I won’t be able to enjoy those perfectly tasting pierogi.

At the last celiac meeting I had heard something about Molly B being there and as I had no idea who Molly B was, I didn’t think anything of it. Then I heard ‘Yes, we have pierogies’ and my ears perked up. What?! Pierogies?! I didn’t want to run anyone over so I casually made my way over, looked around and said ‘I’m sorry, did you say you have pierogies?’. My face must have lit up with the woman’s response even though I tried to act all nonchalant.

Each package contains 12 small pierogies and they come frozen so you can either pop them in your freezer or let them thaw in the fridge. I let them thaw as I’m not a fan of boiled pierogies – sauté some onions and then fry the little guys up. That’s how I was raised and that’s how I like them. The downside was they stuck to the plastic container so many had holes in them while they were frying. As they were frying I remembered the Pierogarnia and the woman making one after another like clockwork. Her hands moved so quickly.

And how did they taste? Not like I remember. A Polish friend (who also makes great Polish food) would have described them as ‘Canadian pierogies’; made for the general Canadian palate. It’s similar to going to an Indian restaurant and the food lacks the heat or zip of the spices or sauce; made for the local palate. Are they bad? No, but they aren’t the greatest either. Would I eat them again? Sure, because a so-so pierogie is better than not having any, even if they cost $8 a pack.

Makes me think of something to accomplish in my next round of time off: homemade pierogies.


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