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  • Writer's pictureJuan J Rojo

My first post:Pierogi

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

For some time now, friends have asked that I start a Blog. They know of my love for fine dining. And while I am certainly a fan of fine dining, I am a fan of good food regardless of the budget. So I had been kicking around the idea but I wasn't sure where to start until the idea came in the form of pierogi. No, it came in the form of Pierogi. They really ought to be capitalized. I have had them before, or so I thought. Moving to the east coast in college, it was soon after my arrival in Massachusetts that I was introduced to them. They are quite good. I became a fan.

Recently, I overheard some colleagues speaking about the pierogi delivery. It got my attention and I inquired about what they were talking about. "Once a month, Leon brings in home-made pierogi" they said. I was at once offended and excited. Why was I not part of this delivery? Why did I not even know about it? I had been employed here for over a year, after all, and I had not made it a secret that I LOVE good food. So I finished my lunch and slowly made my way to Leon's classroom to confront him. I walked in ready for battle. "What's this I hear about pierogi?" I asked/demanded. His response was that of a man who owns his turf. "Yeah, I just dropped the delivery today. [I forget the name] just dropped out so I actually have a spot open. Do you want to take it over?" There were limited spots? How long had this been going on? Should I jump on this train? I hesitated for an instant and then said, sure. The next month something in the calendar-- Christmas, I think-- precluded the scheduled delivery from taking place. I had to wait another month! Last week the time came. Leon walked in my classroom and informed me that there was a bag in the refrigerator with my shipment. Damn it!! I wasn't going home right after work that day, Thursday. Friday either. I couldn't take them and leave them in the car that long. Saturday came but I did not come in to school. Sunday came and I had to be at work for a function. Immediately after, I grabbed them and put them in my car and headed home. "Can you drop by the hospital for a little bit?" My wife texted. Her father was recovering from surgery and she had been at his bedside for a couple of days. Off I went, the pierogi in my car under some clothes to keep the sun from hitting them. I visited, and back home I went. Nothing in the way now.

I arrived home and my mom was there. She had made pozole. I love pozole but that was for dinner. "I need a quick little something now", I told her, casually so as to not offend her. Out came the pan, out came the onions she had chopped for the pozole. Sorry. Onions first, followed by five of the twelve pierogi. The smell of the onions in oil. That is the smell of the kitchen. The sound coming from the pan confirmed that the Pierogi were browning. I flipped them. They looked good. I waited...waited...waited. They were ready.

On my plate they went. "Daddy, I'm hungry". Only that voice or that of my little girl could have stopped me. I grudgingly took two of the five and put them on a plate for my son. And finally, I would taste these pierogi. The first thing I noticed was that I had done a masterful job of browning them. Then came the rest. The potato filling was flavored with some broth, maybe? I'd have to come back to that. There was also a spice, paprika, maybe? I'd have to come back to that too. The Pierogi were exquisite. The potato filling was dense and spicy and the surrounding shell was soft but definitely not soggy. I was also not sure if the dough itself had been flavored in some way. My daughter came down and had some herself. She enjoyed them under my envious gaze. I had the pozole for dinner. It was very good. But I was very much looking forward to having more pierogi the next day. Monday I went to work. I came home. I opened the fridge. They were gone. My daughter and my wife had betrayed me. I will have to wait for next month.

I have since found out that another colleague tried to get in on the action and there were no more spots available. Someone else offered to split her monthly dozen. How unfortunate for them. I clearly made the right decision and I am not giving up my dozen. There is a months-long waiting list to get into Central in Lima or Pujol in Mexico City. I am unsure how long the wait list is for this enterprise but it is very much worth it. My compliments to the Chefs: Galitsky's Mom and Nana.

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