The best thing about marrying into a Polish family is the sudden appearance of pierogies: doughy dumplings stuffed with potatoes, cheese, meat, fruit or other deliciousness and then sautéed in butter. I mean, my husband, Mike, is nice, too, but he gets cranky if I try to sautée him in butter.
I wanted to order pierogies online for three reasons:
- Pierogies are a pain to make. You have to make the dough and filling, then roll out the dough super thin and stuff it with the filling, then cut and seal the individual pierog (much like making ravioli), then boil them and watch through bitter tears as half of them burst open because you tried to make them so thin, and then bake or butter sautée them. It's just always easier to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I'm hungry.
- Frozen pierogies like Mrs. T's from mass market brands, just aren't as good as homemade. The dough is always too thick.
- Although I can buy really good, authentic pierogies 30 minutes away from me in Baltimore, my lazy ass is never going to get dressed and drive to Baltimore to get them.
I was amazed by the number of places willing to ship pierogies. Instead of guessing who had the best pierogies online, I sent emails to all of them, begging for samples I could compare in a "Best Pierogies Online" cook-off to be held in my belly. I barely hit "send" before I had every available nook and cranny of my refrigerator stuffed with pierogies and vats of kapusta (braised sauerkraut). The Fed-Ex guy eyed us suspiciously as we snatched box after box of ice-packed heaven into our house like crazy little pierogi goblins. If there was ever a time to fall down the stairs, it's now, because we have enough ice packs to keep a hospital stocked.
The generous response wasn't surprising; all the Polish people I've met have all been warm, huggy people desperate to shove food down your throat. If there is ever a zombie apocalypse, I can only hope we're visiting my mother-in-law when it happens, because we'll be able to live until the next century on the food she has stockpiled there. Food is love. 45,000 cans of green beans, collectively, are just a big ole bear hug.
We're buying her the boxed set of "Hoarders" next week.
Best Pierogies Online Superstars
Not to be greedy, I only asked these "pierogies online" people for a cheese and potato sample, but many of them sent trays of various flavors, bless their little Polish hearts.
As my idiot bother-in-law (misspelling intentional) likes to say, Millie's is the "real deal Holyfield." Millie's pierogi dough was super thin and the fillings were delicious. Visually, there was nothing uniform about Millie's pierogies, you could just see a bunch of old Polish women pinching the dough around the filling. Millie and/or her minions also sent us several different flavors including Potato & Cheese with Kielbasa and Blueberry, which was not overly sweet at all, so don's t wrinkle up your nose thinking it is pasta filled with jelly. It isn't. Her web site is a little 1997, but I would totally redesign it for her, payment in pierogies
Cute name and owned by two cute young guys from Kansas University: Frank Gazella and Andrew Misak .
Because they weren't old Polish women, I was surprised to find their pierogies were some of my favorites. They weren't the same "authentic" ones I was used to eating. Their dough cooked with just a touch of a pie-crust like feel, which I found absolutely delicious. I can imagine a purist finding this unacceptable, but, damn. I loved them. They have a lot of interesting flavors available, too. The Scrambled Egg, Potato & Cheddar and the Spinach & Artichoke Dip were amazing.
Perla Homemade Delights
Perla sent some of the first to arrive, bags and bags of potato and cheese and jalapeno, potato and cheddar, which David at Perla mentioned were his favorite. We loved them, too! In fact, we stuffed our faces with Perla Pierogies for a week as we waited for the others to arrive. I was mad with pierogi power.
Sweet Poland's packaging says "Family's" on it, and they have that homemade charm we love. Maybe their dough was a tad thicker than some of the others, but they were still delicious. They were also kind enough to send several packages of different flavors and we're gobbling them up! They have a huge online store, so if you're looking for anything from kielbasa to blintzes, they've got you covered.
Like Sweet Poland, Piast has a huge online store with tons of goodies. Also like the others, the pierogies were authentic and yummy! I'm definitely going to have to go back to them and order some kielbasa, too.
Polska Foods, from California is a new addition to the online pierogi world. Their pierogies are good and petite - the spinach ones you could almost swap out as ravioli and it would work! All their ingredients are organic.
The Pierogi Queen is making everything by hand and finding it hard to keep up with demand. They, too, were delicious and she sent several flavors, including blueberry which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite flavors. Online ordering is restricted to requests sent by email. They're located in Enfield Connecticut and sell to stores throughout New England, so if you're up north, be sure to find them!
People’s Pierogi Collective
Apparently, the PPC only sell at the Eastern Market in Detroit. When I went back to inspect the site for online ordering, I couldn't find anywhere to do it. I might have gotten a little carried away sending sites requests for pierogies, but I don't regret it one bit. If you live in Detroit, get down to the Eastern Market and get yourself some of these pierogies! They were really good, and their packaging/marketing is slick. They might single-handedly get Detroit's economy back on track.
In short, there were no clunkers, just about five extra pounds on my hips. You can't go wrong ordering from any of the stores gracious enough to send me samples for review!
PS: I should note that "pierogi" is the plural of "pierog," but everyone in America says "pierogies" for the plural, so I use that to help people find this article. Even though people who call jaguars "Jag-wires" makes me want to nunchuck them to the throat.