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  • My name is Tom Birchard, and I am the proud owner of Veselka restaurant on the corner

  • of 2nd Avenue and 9th Street.

  • A pierogi is an Eastern European dumpling made with a simple dough wrapper and a simple

  • filling.

  • It can be filled with potato, meat, cabbage, or cheese.

  • It's the Eastern European equivalent of a ravioli or a Chinese dumpling.

  • I think every culture has a form of dumpling that they're known for.

  • We're known or pierogis.

  • The pierogi recipe goes back to when I first came here in the '60s.

  • The process starts with making a large vat of dough, similar to pizza dough.

  • We run it through a machine called a sheeter that rolls it out into a fairly thin sheet.

  • We take that sheet, put it on a table, and then cut disks out of it.

  • We're left with a table full of these disks, and then we put the stuffing in.

  • Each one is lovingly crimped by hand.

  • That's where most of the labor comes in.

  • We make 2,000-3,000 a day, so it's a lot of hand work.

  • The pierogis have to be boiled to seal them, but they're not completely cooked.

  • They're cooled, packed in containers, and held until they come upstairs for final preparation,

  • which involves another round of boiling or frying until they're tender.

  • Then they're served with sour cream and sautéed onions.

  • Some people like apple sauce.

  • That's not traditional.

  • But sour cream and onions are required.

  • Pierogis are both Polish and Ukranian.

  • That part of Western Ukraine was governed by several different political groups.

  • What we call Ukranian food, other people would call Polish food, some people would call it

  • Jewish food.

  • Sometimes I describe it as peasant food.

  • All those things are true.

  • This is Eastern European home-cooking.

  • It's really, really well known and loved in New York, and by some people around the

  • country.

  • Over the years I've been concerned that this cuisine would fall out of favor eventually,

  • but honestly the opposite has happened.

  • It seems to be getting more popular.

  • Non-Eastern European or non-Jewish people really feel an affinity for this food.

  • So that's really gratifying to meto satisfy that yearning for grandma's cooking.

My name is Tom Birchard, and I am the proud owner of Veselka restaurant on the corner

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How Pierogis Are Keeping Eastern European Comfort Food Alive | Food Skills

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/04/04
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