Category Archives: Eating Out

The Sunday Market: Marché Forville, Cannes

DSCF0597Last month I had the great pleasure of traveling to Cannes for work. I spent a great deal of time and effort preparing myself mentally for the fact that there was a very good chance that I would spend the entirety of my trip actually working–a thought that pained me beyond words. So when I booked my arrival on Saturday night and realized I would have an entire day on Sunday to myself before the week began, I vowed to make the most of it.

One of my all time favorite activities while traveling is to wander the aisles of local grocery stores, or better yet, the local market. I can’t think of any other place that can offer such a solid dose of local flavor to satisfy all the senses, and the Marché Forville, Cannes’ main produce market, is no exception. I actually didn’t expect much of it, knowing that Cannes is not particularly known for its rustic charm, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I walked from the glitzy but dated area along La Crosiettte where I was staying, to the old town of Le Suquet on Sunday morning and was rewarded with a super pleasant covered marketplace.

I don’t know if I have ever been to a market with so many beautiful smells happening all at once–basil, roses, fresh berries, melons, and tomatoes–it was actually almost overwhelming, but in the best possible way. The market was certainly bustling on Sunday around 9am, and I would totally recommend going at peak hours to see it in all its glory. Aside from fruits and vegetables, there was also a generous selection of cheese, meats (both fresh and cured), salts and spices, teas, and so many beautiful flowers! I ended up buying some roses to cheer up my apartment since I couldn’t resist, as well as an absolutely bountiful lunch spread. While none of the sellers I bought from spoke any English, everyone was super friendly and receptive to my pointing and gestures, which was much appreciated.

If you are at the market and looking for a little more immediate sustenance, there was also a stand or two selling prepared food, including the very Provençal socca, but for anything more substantial than that you are better off going to one of the couple of charming cafes that surround the market square, where you can enjoy a nice café crème and croissant with your people watching (or a nice glass of rosé!). Also located on the square was a boulangerie that was able to satisfy my morning need for a hot baguette on a daily basis during my trip (as well as the occasional need for some viennoiserie of the custard and chocolate-filled variety).

The market is open daily with the exception of Mondays, when it’s still open, but selling antiques and knick-knacks instead of produce. I am a big time lover of flea markets and brocantes but would take the produce version of this market over the antique one every day. In a city like Cannes where everything is rather expensive and pretty modern, Marché Forville was a breath of very French, very fresh air. It was so nice to get away from some of the foofier, fancier parts of town to enjoy something a little more charming, and in a trip filled with some pretty unreal moments, I still think a simple visit to this market on a Sunday morning was one of my favorite experiences.

More info here.

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Snacking in Singapore

IMG_2488Afew weeks ago, I found out I would be making a very short trip to Singapore for work. Three days. 72 hours on the ground, and approximately  36 hours of air travel. After accepting the inevitably long flight time and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to tack a real Asian vacation onto the trip, I booked my flight to build in an extra afternoon of exploration time before meetings started, and started dreaming. About food.

In all honesty, food is the only reason I’ve ever wanted to come to Singapore, and it’s never been quite strong enough of a driver to propel me halfway around the earth just to eat. As a kid, I only knew Singapore as the place where you could get caned for spitting out your chewing gum (a thought that still haunted me a bit every time I popped a piece of gum during the trip). More recently, I knew of it as a somewhat mysterious, meticulously clean melting pot with a much higher price point than other nearby countries in Asia.

It wasn’t until my flight over here, armed with a few extremely outdated travel guides and a lot of spare time on the flight, that I made my first attempt to understand what Singapore is all about…and why it’s supposed to be so delicious.

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Singapore is a young country. A young city-state to be more exact. The country as we know it was founded not so long ago in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles when he signed a treaty with the Sultan of Johor to establish the Southern part of the island as a British trading post. Realizing its strategic significance, due to its location at the end of the Malay Peninsula, the British built the place up, eventually establishing rubber plantations that brought in lots of migrant workers from India, China, and other places.

Before Raffles’ arrival, there were only about 1,000 people living on the island, most of them indigenous Malays. So as the island became more and more developed, it also became more and more diverse in a pretty unique way, since there wasn’t a significant native population present. Malays, Chinese, Indians, and Eurasian people all mixed together to form  a state with many languages, religions, skin colors, and customs. Peranakans, Singapore-born descendants of Chinese settlers who came to Singapore in the 15th-17th centuries, I guess are the closest thing to a modern native population, and the bulk of them have a mixed heritage, largely Chinese and Malay.

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The point of all this is that this place is diverse. I’ve never really been anywhere like it, and riding the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is a pretty illuminating window into just how diverse Singapore is. Aside from the crazy range of language, race, and culture that you’ll see displayed in any station or train car, one only needs to go down any metro line and read the station names to realize that you are in the midst of a ethno-cultral hodge podge: Orchard, Kampong Bahru, Tai Seng, Little India, Joo Koon, Lavender, Khatib–you would never guess those stations were all in the same place.

Getting back to the topic at hand, you can only imagine the effect that this diversity has had on the local cuisine. A lot of Chinese food, a good amount of Indian, tons and tons of options from other parts of Asia, Europe, and the rest of the world, as well as a generous selection of options that bridge the gap between several of the above categories, creating something uniquely Singaporean and pretty darn delicious. Since I’ve been here I’ve had Haianese, Indian, Peranakan, Italian, British-influenced fare, and food from Hong Kong. I’ve been here for one day. Here are some highlights of the things I’ve Snacked on:

Haianese Chicken Rice

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A Singaporean staple, one of the city-state’s national dishes (there are multiple, naturally), and an affordable and easily-accessible example of down-home cooking. Chicken rice is exactly what it sounds like: chicken and rice. The chicken can be cooked in a variety of ways, but in Singapore, the “must try” variety is poached, then dunked in cold water to form a gelatinous layer right under the chicken’s skin. The chicken is served at room temperature over a bed of steamy rice that’s been prepared in the drippings from the birds. It is good. Really good. But super simple. The chicken is cool and tender, the rice is hot and super flavorful with a great texture from the added drippings, but that’s it. To me, this dish was just a great simple plate of food. I think you will enjoy it most if you think of it the same way…there is a lot of hype around it amongst travelers to Singapore, and I think that risks taking something away from the experience of eating it. But go. Find a place that looks good. Grab a plate, and just enjoy it.

Tian Tian Chicken Rice
Location: Stall 10, Maxwell Food Centre 
Link: http://www.tiantianchickenrice.com
Cost: $5

Kaya Toast

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I was obsessed with finding Kaya toast. But like Chicken Rice, it’s everywhere, and it’s simple! Just look at that picture. Not exactly a showpiece meal. I went to Ka Yun Kaya Toast and got a combo Kopi (local style coffee that is roasted with butter or margarine and served with condensed milk in a variety of different combos) and Kaya toast on my first afternoon when I just needed a break to sit down, and it was lovely in its simplicity. You will find Ya Kun outposts EVERYWHERE, especially in malls, but I couldn’t really go a few blocks without seeing a kopitiam or toast place. If I had more free mornings, I would definitely make an effort to indulge in a full Kopi and Kaya Toast breakfast. And I bought two mini jars to bring home!

Ya Kun Kaya Toast
Location: Throughout Singapore
Link: http://www.yakun.com.sg
Cost: $5

Bak Kwa

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I LOVE BAK KWA. I had only ever heard of this jerky-style dried pork product before because I know my friend’s mom loves it. She is from Hong Kong, but evidently Bak Kwa is a treat that is enjoyed throughout Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and the surrounding countries, and it is so delicious. It’s basically greasy dried meat, which sounds awful, but if you like jerky, especially the thick meaty variety, you just need to buy this. It’s not cheap, but you also can’t bring it back to the US, so just buy some and enjoy it while you can. I went to the above spot (no photo due to scarfing this down too fast), but if you are on New Bridge Road in Chinatown you will pass dozens of bak kwa outlets to pick from.

Bee Ching Hang
Location: 189 New Bridge Road, Chinatown
Link: http://www.beechenghiang.com.sg
Cost: $3 for one piece (which is plenty for a little greasy snack)

Tan’s Tutu Coconut Cake

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This was one of my least favorite things, though I still managed to eat most of it. They are weird little cakes made out of rice flower, stuffed with different fillings like peanuts, coconut, chocolate, or red bean, then steamed in a mold. I could also hardly manage a photo as they were so hot that they were steaming up my phone lens. They looked so nice and fluffy here that I was dying to try these, but they ended up being more dense than I expected and I just didn’t love them…one day I’ll give them another try.

Tan’s Tutu Coconut Cake
Location: Stall 25, Havelock Road Cooked Food Center (I went to one in an Orchard mall but can’t find the address)
Link: http://ieatishootipost.sg/tans-tutu-coconut-cakes-kueh-tutu-is-a-uniquely-singaporean-dish/
Cost: $2.50 for 3 of the same filling, or $3 for 3 if you mix the fillings

Tak Po Hong Kong Dim Sum

IMG_2506I felt like a massive fatty eating this breakfast, but it was damn tasty. I sat outside by myself at a nice sidewalk table and watched people queue up all morning to eat here. After the peanuts (they are not free, but I love peanuts, so ok), I used the pencil and check-list style menu they gave me to order a selection of yummy treats, mostly fried, to indulge in at 9am. The top left is yam cake, which was nice, then the furry thing is some kind of crispy yam dumpling (meh), then a steamed bao (always solid) and on the bottom a “homestyle puff” which was yummy. My only regret is that I wish I was there with other people so I could sample more! They also served a nice tall kopi with condensed milk over ice, which was an indulgent compliment to my fried plate.

Tak Po Dim Sum
Address: 42 Smith Street, Chinatown
Link: http://cuisineparadise-eatout.blogspot.sg/2013/01/tak-po-dim-sum-restaurant-chinatown.html
Cost: $0.80-$5 per dish
 

Roti Prata

IMG_2515Speaking of fried…..oh man this was an indulgence. Roti prata is a bready little thing, either stuffed with something delicious or dipped in something delicious. I feel like it was somewhere between a nice soft naan and a thin, delicate crepe. It is prepared from a ball of buttery dough that is stretched and pulled in front of you, then folded up–in my case, around a bunch of sliced bananas, granulated sugar, and ghee (clarified butter)–and then plopped on a hot griddle to get nice and crispy. This is not health food. Especially when you pair it with a sugar cane juice, like I did. But it is obviously super, super yummy. I haven’t yet had a chance to try the savory variety, which is often served stuffing-less, dipped in a nice curry sauce, but I really hope I get a chance to try some before I go! You can find these anywhere, my stop at Pearl’s Plaza was one of desperation in search of something sweet to end my day at a rather late hour, but I am sure there are tastier (and cleaner) options out there.

Pearl’s Center 
Location: 100 Eu Tong Sen St, Chinatown
Cost: $2
 

I am both embarrassed and proud to admit that that is only a small sampling of what I have eaten (snacked on, more accurately) during my short time in Singapore. I’ll spare you the mini cheesecakes from Mini One, the weird pastries and treats from the BreadTalk chain, and the insanely delicious Kouign Amann from Tiong Bahru bakery for another post. And I’ll see what else I can cram in before I leave!

 

 

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Mexico City Street Food: Chicharrones (Chicharrón)

Chicharrones, or chicharrón, can be a variety of different things throughout the Spanish-speaking world, though the type that I know best is the crispy, crackly, oh so bad for you kind that come in a plastic bag and can be found in the chip aisle of the local 7-11.

I always thought of chicharrones as being crazily, excessively bad for you and never really gave them the time of day. If potato chips were terrible, awful things to put in your body, how much worse would it be if you replaced the potato part of the chip with pig skin!? I recently learned, however, that the only reason I was able to resist these horribly wonderful treats my entire life was because I never actually tried them.

A couple weeks before venturing south of the border, I tried chicharrones for the first time. I had mixed emotions at first; they start out very chiplike, but once they’ve been in your mouth for a second, they melt into what they truly are: deep fried pieces of pig skin.

The chicharrones that I tried were about as gourmet as you can get. They are produced by 4504 Meats locally in San Francisco and they are awesssommmmeeeeeee. I know that seems to contradict the fact that I just said I had mixed feelings about them, but they grew on me really, really fast. They are salty and sweet, but more than that, they absolutely melt when you eat them. If you don’t like unctuous, porky tastes and textures, this is never going to be your thing, but if you do–oh man. You should try these.

Anyways, that is not the point of this post. The point is that by the time I went to Mexico City, I had had my first chicharrón experience, and it was positive. I was ready to try the real deal.

On the Saturday that I was in the city, I went down to San Ángel to go to the Bazar Sábado (which deserves a post all of its own). There were a number of food stalls set up all around the premises, and after enjoying a huitlacoche quesadilla (I knew it was fungus but I JUST found out it translates to English as “corn smut?!”) and an ice cream cone, which was much less fungal and way more delicious, I spotted this guy:

Oh hell yes. That is my ice cream resting on the corner of the cart, and those, my friends, are pieces of chicharrón the size of a man’s chest. The first picture in this post provides a close-up of this remarkable delicacy. I had only ever seen it chopped up into pieces so I was thrilled by the prospect of getting one giant piece that I could munch on, cartoon style. Alas, my porcine fantasy did not last. We ordered some (I forget how much it cost but it was very, very little), and this is how they were presented to us:

In a plastic bag, slathered in Valentina. I got over the fact that I didn’t get one big piece fast enough and snatched a piece out of the bag. After only having tried the 4505 version which is basically liquid pig in a very temporary fried state, these were a little dry to me at first, but still so, so good. The fungus quesadilla, double scoop ice cream, and pork rinds were a little much for me and my buddy, so we didn’t end up finishing these, but I’m sure if I had had an ice cold Victoria at the time I could have put them all away.

Picking up a bag of these on the street is a great way for a less adventurous eater to get a little authentic Mexico City excitement into their diet without encountering too many..ahem…problems. I would highly recommend taking the pork rind plunge if you find yourself in the DF anytime soon!

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Port Tasting at Graham’s in Vila Nova de Gaia

Port Tasting, Graham’s, originally uploaded by jhoolko.

While in Porto, a trip across the Douro River to Vila Nova de Gaia to do some Port tasting is pretty much a required activity.

If you’re not familiar with Port, it’s a tasty and very drinkable fortified wine that comes in a number of varieties and a rainbow of different shades. The Port Lodges of Vila Nova de Gaia, as they are called, are easily reachable from Porto (via foot or gondola) and many offer inexpensive tours and/or tastings. If you are a Port aficionado or have never tried it, I highly recommend a visit. We stopped at a few, and this photo was taken at Graham’s Port lodge where we enjoyed a brief tour and hearty tasting in the company of a few fellow travelers.

For more information on the Graham’s Port Lodge and how to visit, click here.

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Mexico City Street Food: Empanada de Camarón

Empanada de camarones, originally uploaded by jhoolko.

We stopped at this stall near the Zócalo because there were tons of people buzzing around it so we knew it must be something good. My non-Spanish speaking friend ran across the street and pantomimed to the vendor that he wanted one of whatever he was selling. The man behind the cart pulled a little bready thing out from a basket and sliced it open around the edges to reveal a bunch of cooked shrimp and melted cheese inside. Unexpectedly it was then slathered in avocado (ok) and ketchup (what?!?!) and then handed over to us so we could add our own dose of hot sauce to complete the dish. The total was about $1.50USD. We took our little frisbee-like plate over to a nearby table and tentatively took a bit of the ketchupy, shrimpy mess. And it was so good! Honestly, one of the best things I ate in Mexico City, and I ate a lot. I went back to the vendor to ask what this delicious morsel was, and he told me it was an empanada! It was a lot different than the empanadas I had been used to in Spain and Portugal, but this was just as good, if not better than the flaky pastries I had learned to love across the Atlantic. And cheaper, too!

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Gastronomica San Juan and the Mercado San Juan

I’d be lying if I said that part of the excitement that I felt about visiting Mexico City didn’t stem from a secret hope that it would be like a new Spain that happened to be on the same continent that I inhabited. Obviously I was also excited for many things that were very much Mexican and not Spanish at all; tacos al pastor, Día de los Muertos, lucha libre, etc. etc. etc. But I had also heard about a lot of Mexico City features that I hoped would transport me back to Spain in some small way.

So, with this in mind, imagine my delight when I strolled into Mercado San Juan, Mexico City’s premier exotic foods market, and was greeted by a man who literally asked me “Would you like to try the best Jamón Serrano sandwich in all of Mexico?” Yes, man. Yes, I do want that.

My friend and I were escorted through the market by this very friendly man to a stall that looked like this, while he sang the praises of their hams, cheeses, and embuditos:

Gastronomica San Juan

I cannot emphasize how crowded this place was, so I instantly believed that we were about to actually get the best ham sandwich in all of Mexico. We were given a menu and a rundown of the offerings by a very nice young boy, and decided to order a ham sandwich between the two of us. When we were asked if we wanted a whole or a half, well, that is where we made our mistake. The only negative detail of this outing was our decision to go for a whole sandwich instead of a half. Little did we know that meant a whole baguette and about 1-meter of carefully layered, very expensive Jamón Serrano. Mexico City was so delightfully affordable for us coming from the States that paying $20 for a sandwich was an absolute shock, even though we got our money’s worth and more.

The sandwich was indeed delicious, but even as a devoted ham lover, it was way too much! So take my advice; definitely go here and get a sandwich, but make it a half! And split that half with someone else. So here is the sandwich; basic and delicious and dripping with ham and olive oil:

Gastronomica San Juan Sandwiches

Sorry for the blur and the bite marks, I guess I couldn’t control myself. The sandwiches were great, but for once it wasn’t the jamón that made this experience what it was. The service from the people at Gastronomica San Juan was literally so good that I just wanted to sit there and chat with them. They were a bit over the top with praise for their product, but it came off as genuine enthusiasm, and did I mention the free wine and dessert?! As soon as we ordered we were offered two tiny glasses of red wine to go with our sandwich which were promptly downed:

Gastronomica San Juan Wine

Again, no time for proper photographic evidence. Then the nice little boy who took our order asked us if we’d like to have a seat. The place was packed and there weren’t even chairs to be offered, but I said sure since he seemed to have a plan in mind. He then walked us to a completely different market stall and pulled out two stools for us to sit on right at the counter. There was such a nice, community environment in the market and even though I must have been driving these people crazy with my lousy Spanish, they were so patient and generous with us.

When we finished our sandwiches (we took half home in a bag…way too much ham!!) and our second little sipper of vino, the real treat came out. Dessert! We had no idea what this was at first, but it ended up being a slice of baguette covered in ice cold mascarpone (or a similar cheese), then topped with a walnut and drizzled with honey.

Gastronomica San Juan Dessert

Ok, I thought. Kinda lame dessert, but cool that it’s free. Then I took a bite. Never has something so simple been so damn good. We ate these two with such voracity that the man helping us came over and gave us six more pieces to go, for free. He even wrapped up our little doggy bag in wax paper. Two of the additional pieces only made it as far as a coffee bar just down the aisle in the same market, where we had another delightful experience. We ate the others that afternoon. I have yet to recreate this simple masterpiece, partially because the memory of eating this in Mercado San Juan was so perfect.

If you like Spanish foods (hams, cheeses, and sausages in particular), I cannot recommend a visit to Gastronomica San Juan enough. If you don’t know Spanish food, even if you hate it, I still recommend it, just for the wonderful service and awesome setting. It was a great way to kick off an even greater trip to the Mexican capital, and when I go back (which I definitely will), it will be one of the first places on my list to revisit. I’ll add another post soon with some pictures of the other market stalls, because they were just incredible.

If you’d like some more information, you can check out Gastronomica’s Facebook page here. It will be helpful to speak Spanish at this spot, but if you don’t I have no doubt you will survive with a smile and some finger pointing. Just watch out for those enormous $20 sandwiches!!!

Gastronomica San Juan

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Dreaming of Mexico City

Ever since I discovered how low fares from SFO to Mexico City can get, I’ve been seriously wanting to visit. One of the places I stumbled upon while looking into the dining scene there was this incredible Japanese restaurant called Tori Tori. Architectism has a post on the building with some great photos. Here are a few, check out the original post for more if you get a chance!

via Architectism

via Architectism

via Architectism

via Architectism

So cool!

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Drinking Ginjinha in Lisbon, Portugal

One of the things I knew I had to try on my recent visit to Portugal was a horrible sounding concoction called Ginjinha. A syrupy, sickly sweet mixture of sour cherries, sugar, and alcohol (aguardente specifically, so serious alcohol), Ginjinha appears in every travel feature ever on Portugal, and is considered a typical drink of Lisbon, specifically.

The resulting tipple tastes a bit like a mixture of Robitussin mixed with firewater with a couple of sour cherries plopped into the bottom if you choose to have them. After the initial shock of the taste of the entire package, the really surprising thing to me was how sour those cherries were! I had the great delight of being offered sourcherry juice regularly on my Turkish Airlines flight over to Lisbon and had decided that I quite liked the stuff, but I was not prepared for the extreme sourness of those puppies. So cherry fans beware!

The menu at a Ginjinha bar in Bairro Alto. All they served was Ginjinha in chocolate shot glasses, half liter bottles of Portuguese beer, and rolling tobacco.

So why, you may ask, did I repeatedly indulge in something that I clearly was not that big a fan of? Why would I go back again and again to punish my tastebuds with flavors I am pretty sure I never want to have in my mouth again? Well, the truth is, the entire practice of drinking Ginjinha is just so great, so exactly the kind of thing I want to do when I am in Europe, that it could have been mud for all I cared; I was in Portugal, and I was going to do as the guidebooks told me the Portuguese did!

Ginjinha is served at little stands or bars throughout the city that look like they have been there forever. Behind the counter of most of these outposts was an old Portuguese man (or woman), carefully pouring tiny plastic (or better yet, CHOCOLATE!) cups full of the sticky liquor.  The chocolate cups helped the stuff go down a lot and were worth the extra 20 cents or so. They’d ask you if you wanted it with or without fruit, and then after handing over about 85 euro cents, you took your little cup to go, to either be enjoyed in the space outside the bar (and by space I mean street or sidewalk), or really to go, sipping or shooting the stuff as you walked on your merry way.

Aside from the obvious flocks of tourists participating in this ritual, there were also a ton of elderly Portuguese people throwing back cup after cup of the stuff, spitting their cherry pits on the ground. One of my travel rules of thumb is that if old local-looking people are doing it, it’s probably worth trying, and this time was no exception to that rule. It’s so different from something you’d be able to do here, so very European in the way I want Europe to be European, that no matter how it tasted, I knew I was going to love Ginjinha.

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Currently Craving: Pierogi, Please!

I have a mild obsession with pierogi. I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t  the only one of the major contributing factors in my decision to visit Poland when I lived in Spain. And I am proud to say that even though Marshal and I only spent 2 days in Krakow, we managed to eat at least four different meals of pierogi (in addition to our meals of barszcz bigos, zurek, gołąbki….I could go on and on but I will spare you the gory details).

A plate of pierogi ruskie in Krakow.

My grandmother has a fabulous recipe for pierogi that she has passed down to my mother, and every year at Christmas, my family (just the five of us), makes an absolutely insane number of these delicious little dumplings. I think we made 125 last year. You can do the math, that is a lot of pierogi per person. And we always eat them all within a few days. It’s a ton of work since you have to make the dough from scratch, make the filling, roll everything out by hand, cut each and every little circle, and crimp each dumpling closed before they get boiled. The dough is finicky and dries out fast, so everything has to move very quickly or else your pierogi won’t be elastic enough to stretch around their filling and hold together in the boiling water. But oh, is it worth it.

Pierogi waiting to be boiled. The damp cloth keeps them from drying out. The lighter colored pierogi are ruskie, filled with potato, onion, and farmer’s cheese. The darker variety are filled with chipped roast beef and raw egg.

My grandmother’s recipe is for the very traditional pierogi ruskie, which are filled with a wonderful mixture of smoothly mashed potatoes, onions, and farmer’s cheese, and we usually eat them topped with tons of onions that have been cooked in loads of butter until they are tender and sweet. There is another variety that is even tastier, and that one gets filled with a mixture of chipped roast beef from the deli and raw egg, which cooks when the pierogi are boiled….that’s it, simple as that. I have no idea if this is a traditional filling, but according to the internet there are other people out there that do this, and according to a bunch of menus I looked at in Krakow people will put just about anything into pierogi! It’s also delicious, so traditional or not, we are going to keep on keeping on with this recipe. One of our favorites from Krakow was a lamb and thyme filled variety from a Van Gogh-themed pierogi place (seriously) called Pierozki U Vincenta.

Lamb and thyme filled pierogi from Pierozki U Vincenta in Krakow. Covered in buttery onions, of course.

So the Christmas after my pierogi-tasting tour of Krakow, we got inspired. We made all kinds of weird pierogi, some with ham and swiss on the inside, some with chocolate and peanut butter….we basically stuffed the extra dough with whatever we could find around the house. I have to say, you probably shouldn’t try the chocolate peanut butter variety anytime soon, but the ham and cheese were pretty tasty, and the varieties I had tried in Krakow told me that there were more options out there!

So today, I was browsing the internet, as I am want to do, I magically stumbled upon this blog: The Perogy Project. Now, the author and I may spell pierogi differently, but that has no effect on the massive amount of delight that overtook me when I realized that there was a blog out there about making pierogi with all kinds of crazy fillings!! I am even more delighted that it has been updated fairly recently and that it might provide me with some additional inspiration before the holidays hit. Until then, I’ll just have to rely on the frozen pelmeni from this place. They are like little Russian baby pierogi!

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