August 18th, 2022


Pierogi is my third cookbook and it was certainly the easiest one to write. Most of the time, it just felt like a holiday!

I am extremely proud of my previous two books, each one is like a child to me. My first, Polska, was a love letter to Poland. I wrote it over the course of several years and because it was my first, there was a lot of anxiety tied up with writing it.

Amber and Rye involved the most wonderful journey around the Baltic States. As always, there were time and financial limitations involved, so whilst it was magical and special, “easy’ is not a word I’d use to describe writing it.

Pierogi was meant to involve travel too, but the pandemic put a stop to that idea and I ended up using old cookbooks, magazines and my Instagram community to find those little known regional recipes that I wanted to include in the traditional part of the book. The modern part of the book was more about my own creative flair. The only part that was difficult was the gluten free section. There are Polish dumplings that are naturally gluten free but pierogi are not and finding a gluten free dough that tasted Polish and was reasonably easy to work with was the biggest challenge of the entire book. I persisted with my gluten-free agent, Isabel, in mind.

The book is peppered with essays on the ingredients we use to make and fill the pierogi. I couldn’t just write a straight-up cookbook without adding this, because this is surely the reason for making pierogi in the first place. Whilst it might be slightly different for each person, I suggest that we make pierogi to connect, whether it’s with our own heritage,  a culture we find interesting, or just the person that we have sat down at the table with to make them. It can be a rather therapeutic process, this is why I believe pierogi always taste best when made at home.

Zuza’s Pierogi is out now in the UK and Sept in the US.

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by Zuza Zak


“It’s a pleasure to work with Isabel. She always knows exactly which proposals to pitch to me and makes the whole process run so smoothly.”

David Barraclough, Managing Editor, Omnibus Press