The most typical Polish dish and loved by all people in Poland must be by far: Pierogi. This Italian ravioli lookalike of dough, filled with meat, mushroom, cabbage or anything you like mixture tastes deliciously and is served in every Polish styled restaurant. There is even a franchise Pierogarnia chain called Zapieciek, where ladies in flirty dresses serve you any kind of pierogi you like.
As a matter of cultural education we decided that we needed some Polish cooking lessons and what better to start with than Pierogi? We booked a course through ‘Polish your cooking‘ (pun intended) and spent a few hours on a saturday morning being drilled by chef Michał Piosik in the ways of the Polish pierogi.
Cooking course – Polish Your Cooking
The course took about three and a half hours en started with a delicious platter of typical Polish cold cut meats and cheeses, herring and bread. Michał explained about the types of food in front of us and gave a nice intro on the course we were about start.
Taking place in ‘Charlie Food & Friends‘ in the center of Warsaw, the cooking course was very professional. We had our individual induction cooking stoves set up for each of the candidates (working in pairs), with all of the necessary ingredients placed next to them. Starting with the kneading of the dough and preparing the fillings, we chatted away with Michał and the other candidates. Then the tricky part began – the actual folding of the pierogi – and we are proud to say we succeeded! We even learned how to make typical ornaments on the sides of the pierogi – making them look like the real deal. Then a few minutes of cooking and voilà – ready was our first official Polish meal. The cherry on the cake was the (also very traditional) assortment of Polish wodka that Michał was very kindly sharing with us during the meal.
Different types of pierogi
During the course we made Pierogi types with cheese & potato (the classic ‘Ruskie’ type), meat (mięsem), and cabbage & mushrooms (kapusta & grzybami). But you can vary as far as your imagination reaches. Look for instance at Zapieciek’s menu, the options are endless.
Almost as important as your choice of filling is your choice of topping. We can recommend to always order two toppings, our favorites being for sure bacon (boczkiem) and cream (smietana). Next to this you can consider to have your pierogi baked (after cooking), which gives a nice crispy flavour to the dish – and also works very well to revive your homemade pierogi the next day for breakfast/lunch.
Then, next to the savoury type of pierogi it is always a good idea to try the sweet one’s – which you would typically have for (surprisingly) dessert. Made from the same type of dough, but with fresh fruit fillings and sweet toppings, this is an absolute winner!
If you ever come to Poland, make sure to try out pierogi – it will be on at least half of the restaurant’s menus – so no excuses! Cooking them yourself is definitely a lot of fun as well and we can recommend to book a course with Polish Your Cooking without any doubt!