A Woodstock church is celebrating the Easter season by sharing a taste of Eastern European cuisine with the broader community.
Members of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church in Woodstock are making and selling pierogis, nut rolls, and pashka, which are traditional Eastern European dishes now until the end of April, in celebration of the Easter season. The church is located at 2263 E. Cherokee Drive.
“We made and sold these types of cuisines at Christmas, and they became increasingly popular in the community,” Father Matthew Dutko of St. Elizabeth said. “Aside from their popularity throughout Europe, these cuisines are also very popular up north in the U.S, so the people who live in the Cherokee County area who came to the county from up north will be very familiar with this food and will enjoy it .”
Dutko said churches in the north sell these types of dishes to their members and neighbors, becoming a popular trend.
“It was awesome to hear from the community about how they were happy we were selling this type of food because not many places sell something like pierogis for instance, so we decided to make some more of these types of foods for the community to enjoy,” he said.
Dutko, discussing the background of the dishes, said that the pierogi can be found throughout Eastern Europe in Poland and Russia for instance. The pierogi is a dumpling that the church fills with potato and sharp cheddar cheese. Other dishes that the church will sell soon are the nut roll and the pashka. Dutko describes the nut roll as a popular European food item that is a dessert bread, filled with butter, nuts, and sugar, all rolled up together. The pashka is an Eastern European-style food that is made around Easter time, he added. The bread is filled with eggs, sugar, butter, and cheese, and Dutko said it serves as the centerpiece of the Easter basket or table.
St. Elizabeth started selling the pierogi on Feb. 19, and will continue to sell it every other week for the next two months until the end of April on Fridays and Saturdays, either fresh with butter and onions, or frozen. Dutko said there will be four pick-up dates for the nut rolls and poshka throughout the month of April, starting April 2.
“Selling these cuisines will help raise money for the church, but the biggest benefit to making and selling the food items is making the community happy and letting them enjoy a unique and fresh taste,” Dutko said.
Church members also shared their thoughts on making these unique cuisines for the community to enjoy.
“Making perogies at the church is such a fun experience, and it’s a joy to spend time with friends and work together for a good cause,” member Faye Szwast said.
“It’s a traditional Eastern European comfort food, if you’ve never had them before, you’re missing out,” member David Novak said.
For more information on the church and availability of the cuisines, visit www.stelizabethga.org.