Warning, this is a public service announcement from Alex Inspired. I may lose or gain some readers depending on your perspective on what I have just written.
Look here Thunder Bay, I have a bone to pick with you, and it’s all about Pierogi!
I’m so over this whole “perogies” thing. It’s time for a lesson!
Our city is totally diverse, it’s what makes us great. We have Finnish pancakes, Greek baklava, a new donair place, Indian Vindaloo, and bannock burgers. We’re really winning on the whole ethnic/multicultural food front.
As a Pole, we take great pride in our buttery dumplings usually found sautéed in onions and bacon, sometimes smothered with sour cream.
Now, before you think that I have totally lost my mind, you need to know where I’m coming from. Pierogi is a very sensitive subject with Polish and Ukrainian people. There has always been this polite disagreement with where pierogi originated from, and how it’s actually said/spelled.
In Ukrainian, it’s pronounced pedaheh or I hear varenyky occasionally – I really think this depends on where you’re from. Any Ukrainian readers out there, please leave a comment and let me know what you think, or what your Baba says.
The word Pierogi is already plural. This is very important to remember. If you want one singular dumpling, you’d ask for pierog. But seriously, who eats just one?
PIEROGI = PLURAL
It seriously bothers me (eye twitch, nose flare or scowl) when I see any of the following spelling variations:
Oh wait, I forgot the biggest misdemeanour: “pierogie’s”. Since when in the hell does a pierogi own anything? Ok, maybe sometimes they own my heart and my stomach, but that’s beside the point. Apostrophes do not belong anywhere near the word pierogi.
*keels over out of breath*
Why do I get so mad when I see this misspelling? Because, if it was any other nationality, there would be an outcry.
Let’s take a favourite Italian dish as an example.
Gnocchi is the closest relative to Pierogi that I can think of. Both are dumplings of doughy goodness.
It is understood that gnocchi equals more than one dumpling. Gnocchi means several yummy dumplings on your plate. You don’t hear people saying “hey! pass me the gnocchies”, it would just sound awkward. You don’t see signs that read “fresh gnocchies”, this would also look ridiculous.
Oh wait. I lied. Apparently some guy named Robino, circa 1954 from Delaware doesn’t know how to spell. This man was clearly not Polish, or Italian!
I’m sorry, but it’s totally offensive to Polish people seeing their dish being completely murdered by the English language. In fact, it’s actually a sad reality that some Polish restaurants, halls and stores need to change their labels to reflect the English version of their dish. Also, as I type this, the word “pierogi” appears as a spelling mistake, but gnocchi does not.
S0 next time you’re writing or talking about delicious pierogi, or conducting a poll on who makes the best pierogi *cough* when each nominee was Polish *cough* (I’m talking to you, Walleye Arts and Cultural Magazine!) think about this post, and the forceful keystrokes I took in writing it.
So now that you all think I’m crazy with my passive aggressive post, we can at least agree on a few things? Like…
It’s coffee, not coffees and it’s Safeway, not Safeways. BUT most importantly, it’s pierogi, not pierogies.
FYI My favourite pierogi are from (other than Babcia Janiec’s) Polish Alliance (Court Street – Friday sales 11-2), Polish Bistro (Algoma Street – Monday – Saturday 11-7), Baba’s – Thunder Bay Country Market (pierogi poutine, need I say more?) and last but not least, Bratnia Pomoc.