Pierogies are small dough envelopes with two traditional fillings, potatoes and onions. They have been made by the Zvorun Ailor for far longer than some of the tales might suggest, and only in recent years have begun to grow a following beyond Zvorun lands with other Cultures this Ailor Culture shares Drixagh with. Still, some dislike the dish out of cultural principle, and so its rise is not as meteoric as other culinary goods in other fields.
While the Pierogi is an ancient dish, many stories on how it was created are decidedly modern, suggesting a severe impact due to how Zvorun are perceived and how others wish to perceive them. The oldest origin myth for the Pierogi comes from Zvorun mythology, which claims it was a recipe given by the goddess Zaliony in a time that the Zvorun were suffering, post-discovery by Zvoronna and the giving of a gift from every god. Her excess kindness supposedly explains a common prayer given at meals that feature the Pierogi, one to the fertile earth, and the gentle hand of “the goddess”. Another story, though different, suggests that the early Zvorun received the gift of the Pierogi from a man from the south, though further information is extremely vague. More modern stories feature the Zvorun receiving the Pierogi from an escaped slave of the early Etosian who reached the Regalian Archipelago post-Skagger Wars. The man taught them the art of making the dish in thanks for sheltering him, but also because much of their other traditional food sources had been destroyed by roaming Etosian horsemen. The last tale is one told by the Wirtem, and points to the utterly detestable view they have for the Zvorun. They claim that the dish was copied from the cuisine of Sihai merchants that traveled through Drixagh in the year 230 AC. Regardless of the truth, Pierogi have been cooked and eaten for centuries by the Zvorun population. They have remained a local dish, though one that had gradually begun to see a rise in popularity within other Northland Cultures, perhaps because Zvorun outside of Zvoria are commonly in the position of serviles or slaves, making food for others. Still, this expansion to other Cultures has seen meat-fillings and varieties-of-vegetables-fillings grow in popularity, and it is likely that the Zvorun Pierogi will find itself a larger audience than just its creators for the first time in its long lifespan.
Each part of the preparation process for the Pierogi is short, but the trick is when they must be combined together. The first two parts to make are the fillings as they are both the easiest. For the sauerkraut filling, the butter should be melted in a pan over medium heat, with the onions cooked until they are translucent, about five minutes. Then, the sauerkraut should be added, and the combined substance cooked for another five minutes with the salt and pepper added as they are removed from the pan and set aside to cool. For the potato filling, either the same pan may be used, or it can be made at the same time as the other filling. Regardless, again, the butter should be melted in the pan for five minutes, followed by onions, and again, cooked until translucent. The potatoes should be stirred in, with the salt and pepper to follow, before also being removed from the heat to cool.
The last part of the recipe is the dough, but it takes a bit more effort and time. The eggs and sour cream should be mixed together in a large bowl until they are smooth. The flour, salt, and baking powder should be all sifted together in a separate container, before being stirred into the existing dough mixture, gradually coming together over time. It should then be removed from the bowl and kneaded out on a lightly floured surface until it is firm and smooth. The dough should be separated into two equal halves, and then rolled flat into a narrow one-eighth inch thickness. The dough should then be cut into three-inch diameter round circles.
Finally, all parts should be brought together. A spoonful of the filling should be placed in the middle of each dough circle. The edges of each circle should be wetted with water, and then each folded closed, with a fork or pronged tool used to push the edges closed. While they set and dry, a pot filled with an appropriate level of water and salt for boiling should be set over high heat and brought to a boil. Once it has reached this level, the uncooked Pierogies should be cooked for up to five minutes, browning around the outside and coming to float to the top once they are done. They should then be removed from the water, patted dry, and should be served hot.
- Pierogies look like bulged, semi-circles of pale, cooked dough.
- Pierogies have the strong smell of starch and onions due to the potatoes and onions used in their creation.
- Pierogies have a smooth taste, with a savory edge due to the different fillings. Sometimes, the outside can be a bit crispy but it’s often overall soft to the touch and easily eaten.
- Pierogies are sometimes topped by sour cream or more cooked onions in times of plenty and at feasts.
- The name of the Etosian slave was supposedly Hyacca, which some have suggested might mean the dish has an Altalar origin. However, no similar dish is known among the Altalar and the offshoot Nelfin Races.