On Sunday, Shawn and I had several hours free, and a unbelievably beautiful day on or hands so we decided to make the 30 minute drive to Whiting Indiana’s Pierogi Fest for some stuffed dough goodness. I have had my share of small town midwestern festival goodness, but was really in for a surprise when I stepped onto the main drag at perogi fest.
Meet Mr. Pierogi! The Whiting Indiana Pierogi Fest official Spokes-pastry.
Are you kidding me? This festival was out of control. And everyone was so happy! The perogi guy was running around high-fiving everyone, there was a guy dressed as a stuffed cabbage roll running a found being grumpy and hot…
Insanity. It was really A DREAM COME TRUE. I had never seen so many folks happy about pierogies and summer fun since the now defunct 185th street festival days back in Cleveland. The Whiting Pierogi fest has been on for 16 or so years and is 90% focused on Pierogi, and 10% focused on Polka. To that end, and to add to the ever growing list of costumed characters running amuck at the festival, there is even a lady named Polka- hontas who is the festival’s official polka ambassador/ mistress.
That being said, the reason we came here was pierogi. And we had a lot to pick from, and many many lines to wade through to get to them. Which was not nearly as bad as one would think,other than the occasional asshole with a stroller every one we encountered was happy and incredibly polite. I sneezed three times while i was there and EVERY SINGLE TIME someone said “bless you.” Impressive. We waded through the immense and incredibly polite crowd, and found at the far end of the fest Kasia’s pierogi booth selling pierogi for basically a buck a piece.
The selection was pretty standard, beef, beef and cheese, sausage, potato, bacon cheese and potato, spinach, cheese and jalapeno, sauerkraut, sauerkraut and mushroom… Shawn did a survey of seven. I did the same, but only the meatless options.
Pretty standard serving size, coupled with the ubiquitous condiment of choice.This stand also offered the classic applesauce and not so classic pico de gallo, but we decided to keep it classic and creamy.
All in all delicious. It’s pretty hard to fuck up a pierogi, and it’s equally hard to reinvent the pierogi, not without risking pretentiousness. I would say these did the genre proud, but no points for invention. But to be fair that is not the point here, the point is to eat starchy stuff and get down to polka, and that kind of stuff never goes out of style.
To end here’s a little video treat of the annual pierogi toss.