Thursday, October 8, 2009

HAPPY PIEROGI DAY!

Today is National Pierogi Day.  Bet you didn’t know that.  I didn’t, until I looked at my daughter’s school lunch calendar this morning. Now that’s how you know you are heavily embedded in a culturally rich community. Northeastern Pennsylvania, while markedly Irish and Italian, carries with it a very deep Slavic heritage most popularly represented by the Polish, Ukrainians, and Russians--the folks who brought pierogies to America. I happened to grow up in a Ukrainian household and am one of the few remaining American-born purebreds under 45. That pierogies (vareniki to Ukrainians and Russians), basically potato-cheese dumplings, would find themselves on a national celebration register delights me to no end. With just a tiny bit of digging on the suspicion that Mrs. T’s had something to do with this, I was able to reach a representative of the company to confirm.

“We took the initiative to register it in Chase's Calendar of Events," acknowledged Gary Lauerman, Director of Sales and Marketing for Mrs. T’s Pierogies. “We filled out the paperwork and got it approved.”

Along with over 12,000 other special events celebrated internationally, pierogies now have their own special day in what is considered the most authoritative special event register in the world.

“We decided on October 8th because it was on this day [57] years ago that the first box of pierogies was sold commercially in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Today, Mrs. T’s sells a half billion pierogies per year,” said Lauerman.

To celebrate this inaugural year for National Pierogi Day, Mrs. T’s conducted a special flag raising ceremony and provided a catered lunch for all of its employees.

To tie in with National Pierogi Day, Mrs. T’s also sponsors a hunger drive for the first two weeks in October wherein portions of proceeds from pierogi sales are set aside to support local food banks. Mr. Lauerman estimates that Mrs. T’s will be able to donate $50,000 toward that cause this year, which was only piloted regionally in the northeast. Next year, Mrs. T’s hopes to expand its two-week food bank program nationally to coincide with National Pierogi Day thereby further heightening awareness for both events.

Now that’s something to celebrate!

Visit the Mrs. T’s website for recipes, coupons, and more consumer information.....and Happy Pierogi Day!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a step-by-step pictorial on homemade pierogies. 

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