When pierogies were invented in the early 1900's, pasta and potatoes came together in a match made in food heaven. On October 8th – National Pierogy Day – we celebrate this perfect pairing for its role in making meals just a little more special and serving up smiles to kids of all ages.
The pierogy arrived in the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century from Eastern Europe. During the 1940's, these smile-shaped pockets – stuffed with sauerkraut, cheese, mashed potatoes, cabbage, onion, meat and any combination thereof – became a staple of church fundraisers in ethnic neighborhoods in the northeast and throughout the upper-Midwest.
By the early 1950's, pierogy cravings broadened to include Americans of all ethnicities. Ted Twardzik Senior, founder of Mrs. T's®, saw an opportunity. For years, his mother, Mary (theactual Mrs. T.) and her friends, would gather around the kitchen table and make pierogies for their church. If these comfort food favorites did well at church dinners, why not try selling them in the grocery store? On October 8, 1952, Ted produced the company's very first samples and delivered them to the local grocery store. Today, Mrs. T's is still the family-owned company it was back then – and is the largest producer of pierogies in the U.S., having sold over half a billion in 2009 alone.
Clearly, pierogies are here to stay. What arrived in America as family tradition among immigrants has since become a mainstream meal option for families all across the U.S.
So on October 8th, help celebrate the second annual National Pierogy Day and the pierogy's place in American culinary history.