St. Hyacinth and his pierogi!

Who knew the Polish say 'St. Hyacinth and his pierogi!' when surprised? I like it!

I am learning a lot on this, my first ever, Fight Back Friday, ( about traditional foods from reading Polish Heritage Cookery by Robert Strybel. In this 1993 book (again 1993!), Strybel (again, like Michael Pollan and Pat Edwards, a journalist) includes a 33-page Forward that covers everything from how Polish Cookery developed (including the influences of 'forcible Russification and Germanization'), the contradictory findings of different diets' effects on cholesterol levels and the sometimes deceptive practices of the food industry. The author describes his book as a "fairly complete compendium of Polish cookery spanning the past two centuries."

I am delighted that I overlooked the book's front cover images of the crispy whole pig and the spiral of sausage that looks like it may have been one of the poor pig's final acts of digestion.

On page 19, Strybel writes: "...and despite the huge upsurge in consumption of 'lo-cal' and 'diet' products over the past decade, overall obesity in America has not declined." Of course, 16 years later the 'diet' industry's growth shows no sign of lagging and obesity rates have experienced their own huge upsurge.

On page 22, Strybel writes: Good nutrition is constantly stressed throughout this book. There is a colossal difference between balanced, common-sense eating habits and all the trendy, pseudo-diet and quasi-health innovations the advertisers try to foist on an unsuspecting public...The general rule of thumb, therefore, is to stick to real, natural foods refined as little as possible..."

'Good nutrition is constantly stressed throughout the book' and there are more than 40 variations on the pierogi in the recipe section? I am feeling significant Polish pride.

Tonight's menu: pierogi with some vegetable soup or stuffed cabbage. "Smacznego!" (Polish translation of 'bon apetit!')


Anonymous said...

You must share the recipes! That's half the fun.


(AKA FoodRenegade)