Irena Boujenko's Vareniky
"In Ukraine vareniky is not just a national dish, but also a special talisman."
Read all about the wonders of Vareniky from Irena Boujenko, one of our amazing Ukrainian cooks!
"It would be impossible to imagine Ukrainian cuisine without vareniky. They are commonly known in Ukraine as pyrogi. They are small dumplings with potentially unlimited selection of ingredients: mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, sour cherries, blueberries and strawberries, poppy seeds, mushrooms, meat, vegetables and more.
Vareniky is one of the 12 sacred dishes on traditional Christmas dinner that were formed in 8-9 century before the adoption of Christianity and were then inherited in Medieval cuisine.
Since I was very young, about 6 yr old, I loved making vareniky with my grandma very often, as we had them 4-5 times a week. Vareniky is the food loved for every occasion. My favourite ones were sweet vareniky with sour cherries and various berries. I also loved vareniky with poppy seeds. We made them for special occasions. My grandma used to say, “eat them, they’ll bring you good luck, fulfillment of your dreams and a big family.”
In Ukraine vareniky is not just a national dish, but also a special talisman. Many years ago Ukrainian peasants believed varenyky brought them abundant harvest, so they took their miraculous dumplings to the fields.
In the ancient Slavic period women used to eat vareniky on the second day of their wedding, as a symbol of wellbeing and wellness. Vareniky were also given as the medicine to pregnant women.
Ukrainians love their vareniky, they even erected monuments to vareniky in a few cities of Ukraine and in Canada."