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Looking for the best perogies Toronto has to offer? If you’re of Ukrainian heritage like I am, a platter of the tender dumplings known as perogies or pierogies are an important part of every Easter, Christmas or holiday celebration. While they are time-consuming to make perogies at home, fortunately it’s possible to buy homemade perogies in Toronto. Here’s every thing you need to know about finding the best homemade Ukrainian perogies for sale in Toronto.
In Ukraine, the spring rituals of my ancestors included decorating eggs with artistic designs, taking Easter bread to be blessed by the priest and an unusual dance in which young maidens were doused with water by village swains. I was keen to revive all three traditions but could only manage to convince my husband to participate in one. That was eating perogies.
So, I contacted Natalie’s Kitchen, a Ukrainian catering company located in The Huculuk Centre in Etobicoke and placed an order for perogies as well as Paska, the round-shaped Easter bread my mother used to make. She’d bake it in coffee cans and decorate the loaves with crosses, braids and candles.
“Would you like pyrohy with your order?” asked Julie Hladen, Natalie’s Kitchen boss. I thought of the tender potato dumplings my Grandma used to make, and answered yes.
“How about holubstii?” she asked.
“Ok, sure, I’ll try them too,” I said, dreaming of cabbage rolls. It’s spring. Why not celebrate with some Easter feasting? “And throw in some beet horseradish too.”
We headed out to Natalie’s Kitchen early Saturday morning.
“We’re driving 45 kilometres for a loaf of bread?” he groused.
“It’s not just bread, we’re getting lots of Ukrainian food,” I said. ” And besides, we’ve driven 50 kilometres for tamales.”
“But that’s different,” he sputtered.
I did wonder if it would be worth the trek. I’d tried pierogies from St. Lawrence Market, on Bloor Street West and from Polka European Deli. None were as good as the ones you could get in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We arrived at the building in Etobicoke.
“Are you sure you’ve got the right address? asked my husband. “It looks like a church.”
“That’s a good sign,” I said. In Winnipeg, church basements are the next best source for perogies if you don’t have your own Baba.
Best Perogies Toronto
Inside, the kitchen was bustling and there was a line-up of patrons waiting to pick up orders.
But the sure sign of authenticity was stacked in the cooler in containers labelled studenetz.
“What is it?” asked my husband, peering at the grey globs behind the glass.
My mother used to serve the jellied pork hock dish on special occasions. Made with meat scraped off the hoof and chilled in clear gelatine, the slices would quiver on the table, their grey mass looking like scary Jell-O.
Just then Julie stepped forward with the Paska.
Decorated with a cross on top, it was still warm and gave off a heady fragrance of rich butter, egg and yeast. The perogies were perfect too.
What to Serve with Perogies
This year Paska and perogies. Next year the spring maiden dance.
516 The Kingsway, Etobicoke< ON
Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Sometimes Saturday mornings)
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
Read more about Michele Peterson.
Nice write up. We too make perogies and Cabbage Rolls Ukrainian style. But we pack them up for retail sales. I get complements that our dough is the closest to home made people have had from a retail product. We make it the same way you do at home, no powders, colours or preservatives. The real ingredients. Please feel free to stop by to our factory outlet. The address is 3171 Lenworth Dr. Unit 8 in Mississauga. I look forward to seeing you there.
Thanks for letting me know Terry! I’ll definitely stop by and try them out. Now we just need to convince you to open a perogie branch in Toronto’s east end!
The bread was marvelous – buttery crisp on the outside, tender on the inside. The pyrohy, tender but firm, not mushy, best I’ve had in this city. May church basement ladies everywhere live long and prosper..!
Lovely post, Michele, and I appreciated the Winnipeg references! Didn’t realize your roots were here.
I sure love the Ukrainian cuisine, but don’t make it from scratch as it’s just too darn much work! Now I know why it took our grandma’s, mothers and aunties so long to prepare family dinners. Everything had to be done from scratch!
Wow – I’m sorry I missed that meal. Glad I read the post, though. Having dated (too many) men from around the world, I find that the biggest culture clashes come through food. I love Korea but will NEVER serve silkworm larvae at the table.
We need to treasure family recipes like Glenn’s Gram’s. The consistency of an earlobe? Too funny but it actually makes sense!
Varenyky a favourite in Glenn’s family. Glenn’s gram gave us her recipe a year before she died in ’93. It instructs you to knead the dough to the consistency of your ear lobe. In other words, give your ear lobe a pinch and that’s basically what you want your dough to feel like. We tried it and think she is bang on.
Oh man, I loved my Mom’s Easter bread. It was always glazed with a thin white icing on the top. I think she must have cooked it in a coffee tin too, because it was that a cylindrical shape with that wonderful iced round top. Sometimes there’d even be coloured sprinkles scattered in that white sugary wonderment. Look out!
We also had verankey (sp??) filled with damson plums and sour cream gravy. And don’t forget the huge hunk of roasted ham…
Feeling a tad nostalgic now…
Yes, the plum verenyky were a real treat – a much better surprise than getting a forkful of sauerkraut filling! Hooray for sprinkles too.