[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] German Volhynian food

Robert Radke rradke at telus.net
Mon Dec 1 08:52:19 PST 2003

Interesting link on German Volhynian foods, Jerry.
Regarding the pirogi/wareniki distinction --  Our family also uses the two 
words interchangeably, but in Ukrainian and Russian, there is actually a 
distinction based not on the filling, but on the method of cooking. 
Technically, wareniki are boiled (the name is related to the Ukrainian word 
"variti" which means "to boil") and pirogi are fried or baked.  In Russian 
there is a further distinction between a pirog (plural is pirogi), which is a 
sort of pie that we would probably call a "turnover" in English, frequently 
big enough to be cut up into individual portions, and a pirozhok (plural is 
pirozhki), which is the familiar little dumpling.  The Russian "pirozhki" 
correspond to the Ukrainian "pyrohi". 

A second cousin in Kansas informs me that in parts of Kansas settled by 
Germans from Russia, you can buy "bierrocks", which are stuffed pocket 
sandwiches.  It looks like the name and concept of "pirog" was brought to 
Kansas from Russia.

The picture of borschtsch at the linked site is also interesting, because the 
soup is definitely made in the Russian style, and not the Ukrainian style.  
Ukrainian style borschtsch is almost clear, very red, no vegetables floating 
around in it.  Russian style borschtsch can have anything you have on hand 
thrown in, and is a very substantial soup.  (The little Ukrainian restaurant 
in my neighbourhood of Vancouver has both kinds on the menu.) 

I think that all of these distinctions have become rather blurred among folk 
living outside Ukraine and Russia.  I'm curious -- do any of our list 
subscribers differentiate between pirogi and wareniki in their families?

--Bob Radke

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