At Polish-American Heritage Days
Pierogi Reigns Supreme
It never ever fails: when you tell someone you are of Polish extraction, they have to say something about pierogi. I used to think it was just called Poland’s National Dish only because of this association from others. How could something so simple be so beloved? Nothing prompts a story of Babcia’s kitchen like pierogi. The most popular Polska Kuchnia class we teach is pierogi. Now I’ve heard the stories…pierogi were really created by the Chinese, and we modified them when they brought them with them from the East. No one is going to deny the similarity to Italian ravioli and tortellini or Japanese and Chinese dumplings. But if that’s true, so be it. We obviously knew how to make it memorable. Thinly rolled with a wonderful taste and amazing versatility, the lowly pieróg (as a single dumpling is called) is undoubtedly beloved by Poles and Non-Poles alike. So let’s find out who makes them the tastiest!

The Buffalo's Best Pierogi Contest has become the highlight of Corpus Christi parish’s annual Dożynki Festival. It celebrates the long tradition of pierogi making in Buffalo...with family recipes being passed down from one generation to the next. So we invited the contest’s founder to come down and share his event with the Mahoning Valley’s Pierogi Pinchers. Organizer Christopher Byrd is coming to Polish Day to host this event and help to proceed with his vision of a regional championship.

So here’s how the first ever Youngstown Best Pierogi Contest is going to work….Participants will bring their two dozen dumplings to the event ready to be tasted (slight reheating is available but no boiling) Applicants’ entries will be tasted by judges and the public alike in one of these categories:

  Homemade Traditional – boiled or fried pierogi filled with cheese, cheese/potato or kapusta (pickled or fresh cabbage) with or without mushrooms, carrots, etc.

  Homemade Non-Traditional – open to entrant’s creativity, keeping in mind that a pierog is a stuffed pocket of dough.

  Dessert – pierogi made as a dessert open to entrant’s creativity

We wanted to throw in categories for Commercial and Church like they do elsewhere but weren’t sure those folks were up for the challenge (although I know where I like to buy MY pierogi…).  Winners in each category will walk away with prizes, pride and the title of Youngstown's Best Pierogi Maker. Registration goes up next week here and more info is available by calling 330-333-9724.

Want to judge? We are currently putting together our group of celebrity and other judges. Tell us why You should be a judge here, and you might be selected for that tasty position!

Now if you want to show your love of pierogi through consumption, fear not! We also will be hosting the ever popular 5th Annual Pierogi-Eating Contest, and registration is opening for that next week too.

Join us for our 2nd Annual POKER & PIEROGI Charity Card Games & Tournament

This is an event for amateurs and serious card players alike!
     11 AM Doors will open and poker cash games and black jack tables will open.
     1 PM Tournament will begin. It is $60 to buy in and there is a BONUS of $500 in extra chips for preregistration.
     6 PM Second Chance Turbo will begin if there is enough interest.

You DO NOT have to play in the tournament to play in the cash games. There will be snacks and drinks available for tournament players with delicious Polish pierogi and cocktails available for purchase. In addition, there will be basket raffles, 50/50 and other opportunities throughout the event. For more information, call 330-333-9724 or email

Your Polish Tastes
by Barbara Rolek
Summer Salads Feature the Starts of the Season                      

Salads are an important component of the Polish culinary repertoire, no matter how cold the weather. As in most cultures, appetizer salads and main-course salads exist, but the two most popular you will see served at breakfast, on buffets, with a meal, as a snack and at other times of the day fall into the categories of surówka and sałatka.  A sałatka typically is a cold salad made of cooked ingredients. It might include chicken, tuna, ham, beef, frankfurter, egg and other cooked proteins dressed with sour cream or Polish mayonnaise. Others are made with cooked vegetables like potatoes, potatoes and herring, beets and others. A surówka is a cold salad made with raw ingredients like sliced cucumbers in sour cream. Other examples are lettuce salads, grated carrot and apple salads, sauerkraut and fresh cabbage salads, beet salads, radish salads and more. Surówki typically accompany hot meals and change based on seasonal produce.  One wildly popular item is mizeria which literally means "misery," but it’s really anything but that. A favorite of Queen Bona Sforza, this salad could become yours too. Try it out with this recipe

Chicken-Inspired Discounts

f you missed the traditional Polish Happy Hour this month, you’ve got another chance.  Still breaking in the new bar option at Kravitz’s Deli in Liberty, Jack is bringing back Chubes the Accordion playing Chicken from Paczki Day! It can work out in your favor too! In Chubes’ honor, Thursday, July 24 from 6-9 will be Cheap Cheap night at Kravitz Deli Liberty. $3 drafts and $7 Reubens. Reuben and a draft $9.99. For Liberty folks, this place is becoming the new “Cheers,” so maybe I’ll see you there!

PolishYoungstown asked to host another Exchange Student

Attracted by our fun, educational spirit and involvement with our heritage, Youth for Understanding has invited PolishYoungstown followers to host another high school exchange student from Poland for the 2014-15 school year. My family and I stepped up last year and welcomed Kinga Wilczko into our family. We can’t say enough about what a great experience it was for our whole family. We traveled together, hung out together, bickered together over everything from curfews to US attitudes toward Ukraine. It was a tearful goodbye when she flew home in June.

Want to get involved?  YFU is still looking for a family to host Maja. A talkative, friendly and ambitious 17 year old, she enjoys music and outside activities. Having played the piano and guitar for about three years, she also belongs to the school choir. She enjoys a variety of music from classical to movie scores. For fun in her free time, Maja likes to go ice skating, cycling and swimming. She also likes to watch figure skating and swimming competitions. Other interests include taking photos and editing them in Photoshop, plus watching movies with family and friends. Since weekdays are pretty busy for their family, they usually spend weekends together going to church, doing outdoor activities, or visiting extended family. To her future host family, she says thank you so much for "considering to choose me as your future, temporary 'daughter.' There are so many things that I would like to know about every-day life in America."

Time is almost up for Maja to come to the USA.  What to help her fulfill her dream by opening your home and heart to her? Call Jamie Withem, YFU Northern Ohio Field Director at 567-855-5196 or email

News from Polonia

Scholarship Opportunities
Back to school is around the corner, and for many students, it is a real burden figuring out how they are going to pay for their studies. The Kosciuszko Foundation offers special tuition scholarships of $2,000 each for undergraduate students of Polish descent. Students seeking careers in media, government, and public affairs are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications are being accepted until July 31. Learn more about it here.


 Also, applications for a number of Fellowships/Grants to Poles for advanced study, research, and/or teaching at universities or other institutions of higher learning in the USA for the 2015-16 academic year are being accepted through October 15, 2014.

News from Poland
by Ted Mirercki
Airliner crash reveals divisions in Slavic attitudes toward Russia

Poland's foreign minister had sharp words on the downing of the Malaysia Airlines jumbo jet in Ukraine — blaming the crash on Russia-backed "bandits." But throughout most of central and eastern Europe, leaders withheld judgment, expressing shock but refusing to say more until more facts are in. The caution is not surprising: Several former Soviet satellite states have developed closer economic ties to Russia in recent years, making them unwilling to take a strong stand against Moscow in the Ukraine conflict.  Learn more about this analysis and other news stories in the most recent edition of Polish Media Watch.

Calendar Highlights
August 24
Polish Day 2014 we have a couple of new events to tell you about starting next week!... Our complete 2014 calendar of event dates is available on the PolishYoungstown website... don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for quicker updates.


Do Zobaczenia!
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team




Video of the Month

Polish Media Watch

Polish Words of the Month

·         Beach-plaża

·         Ice cream-lody

·         Sandals-sandały

·         Party-strona

·         Friends-przyjaciele

·         Fruit-owoc

·         Travel-podróżować

·         Ocean-morze