Pierogi, is a popular ethnic dish known in Poland, Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Other names include perogi, perogy, piroghi, pirogi, piroshki, pirozhki, pyrohy, pielmieni or Piroggen. Normally, only the plural form is used: pierogi (plural) instead of pieróg (single).
In Polish, the word “pieróg” refers to a dish prepared from cooked dough, baked dough, or deep fried dough, which is rolled out thin, and filled with various fillings. The most ethnic Polish pierogi fillings include the following: ground meat, pickled cabbage with mushrooms, seasonal fruits (berries, strawberries etc.), buckwheat, cottage cheese – sweet or with cooked potatoes and onion (Pierogi Ruskie). Outside of Poland, fillings can include eggs, fish, spinach, jelly or even chocolate and honey.
Pierogi were first popularized in Poland beginning in the thirteenth century. They were “imported” from far east through Russia. The contemporary term “pierogi” first appeared in second half of seventeenth century. From the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries, it adopted the general linguistic form of “pirogi”, although in the fifteenth century, personal names originating from pierog are noted. According to Bańkowski, this term along with its many Slavic variations, originated from Ural dialects. Another hypothesis suggests a connection to the Russian word “pir,” meaning “holiday” or “occasion,” or to the old Russian word “piru.”
Traditionally, pierogi were prepared only during holidays. With each holiday came a different type of pieróg, unique in its filling and shape, eg..: “kurniki” – large wedding pierogi always with chicken meat; “knysze” – mourning pierogi, served during funeral reception; “koladki” – prepared in January during pagan holiday “Kolady” (from old Russian”Koliada” – Polish “kolęda”); “hreczuszki” – prepared from buckwheat; “sanieżki” and “socznie” – sweet little pierogi fried on the occasion of name day.