Ohio’s Own: Sophie’s Pierogi
In Garfield Heights, Peter’s Market is the place for Polish fare. Open since 1934, it’s a destination point for its meat and deli options, as well as a selection of edibles that ranges from cabbage rolls to potato pancakes. Peter’s Market also plays host to a house line-up of pierogi that you can prepare at home: Sophie’s Natural Pierogi. It comes in an array of flavors, including a traditional Potato Cheddar Cheese version, as well as options such as Cabbage or Prune.
The reference to “natural” in Sophie’s moniker is legit. The pierogi use unbleached flour, and no preservatives or artificial colors or flavors. The cheese in the cheese versions of the dumplings is cheddar, and not the processed stuff. Further, the label on the Potato Cheddar Cheese Pierogi also touts that it has no high fructose corn syrup. This seems like a good (if obvious) choice because corn syrup on potato-cheddar pierogi sounds kinda gross.
Marketing claims aside, they’re a good product.
Most prepackaged pierogi on the market are going to require minimal cooking skills. Sophie’s falls in line with tradition, offering directions on the package for pan frying or boiling. Personal preference leans hard toward frying the pierogi in butter, and the pockets manage to stay intact, despite a profound lack of patience and skill on my part.
The outcome is a just-crisped pocket of achingly tender pasta, filled with a cheesy merger of potato and cheddar. It is the ultimate trifecta of comfort foods, and if you add sour cream on top, well, you’ve arrived at nirvana.
According to the house website, Sophie’s recipe for pierogi is 30 years old. As part of the Peter’s Market empire, you can also find plenty of options from the King of Kielbasa, including the sausage, as well as crepes, spaetzle, and something called “Blood Tongue,” which is jellied pork, blood, garlic and spices. You can order its goods online for delivery, but we found our Pierogi at Marc’s grocery. Marc’s Ohio origins give it connections to a surprising number of off-beat Ohio edibles from smaller manufacturers.
For more information, visit polisheats.com.