Glendon, Alberta, Pyrogy Capital of the World

Posted on: March 8, 2023

(And related items on saints, queens, and an accordion playing pyrogy)

Inedible but indelible

When you visit Glendon, population 500 or so, you must, of course, see the giant pyrogy speared in place by an equally large fork. It’s hard to miss. 

The fork was only added later to clarify that the big white dumpling landmark was, in fact, a pyrogy, because some people weren’t sure what it was.  

Really? These puffy half-moons are slathered with sour cream or onions and enjoyed widely across Canada, the U.S., and other parts of the world. One look at the pinched rounded edge of the giant steel and fiberglass pyrogy and we wonder what those people thought it was. A melted bar of soap? Half a snowball? A pillow for bad backs? 

Big but edible  

If you haven’t yet tasted pyrogies, you’re missing out on this boiled dumpling brought to Western Canada in the early 19th century by Europeans. Eventually, people started baking or frying the unleavened dough and traditionally stuffed them with potato filling, sauerkraut, cheese, or fruit. 

The largest edible pyrogy was made during Pierogi Fest in Indiana. Indiana spells it the traditional Polish way, pierogi. That pyrogy weighed 42 kgs, slightly bigger than the pyrogies you’ll find at Pyrogy on a Fork, Glendon’s only sit in restaurant. 

Glendon is day trip territory, only 213 kms northeast of Edmonton, and much closer from other towns in Alberta’s Lakeland. 

Your first stop should be Pyrogy Park, home to the largest Pyrogy in the world. Few largest monuments stand as tall as the Pyrogy within Alberta but check out these 7 Outrageous Alberta Landmarks for others. The 2.7 tonnes 7.5 metre high pyrogy was unveiled in August 1991, by the Official Pyrogy Committee. We want to be on that one! 

Saint Hyacinth, patron saint of pyrogies 

Take a few crazy pics so it looks like you are biting into the pyrogy or your kids are holding up the perogy or, you know, do your own thing. #eattheperogy 

Also, discussion item to add to the next committee meeting. Erect a statue of Saint Hyacinth, well-known patron saint of pyrogies. Technically, he oversees all the world’s perogies, so, Hy, thanks.

What’s with the spelling? 

You’ll see pyrogy spelled perogy, pirohi, piroghi, or even pierogi, which is the original Slavic spelling, as mentioned. Glendon’s sign calls it pyrogy, which stands in Pyrogy Park, where a Pyrogy Festival is held. So, we’re sticking with that. Oh, and sometimes they are called varenyky. Don’t get us started. 

How to get rich with pyrogies 

Pyrogy on a Fork, the only sit-down eatery, has pyrogy options on the menu, including Cheddar Pyrogy Poutine.

There will be excitement in the air if you dine here during Glendon’s wild Demolition Derby and Mud Bogs, an event with loud trucks and a lot of wreckage.  While dining here, or anywhere, keep a sharp eye out for any special images on your pyrogies. In 2005, a woman made almost $2000 on eBay after selling a pyrogy she claimed had an image of Jesus Christ seared on to the pyrogy’s side. You never know. 

Don’t touch my pyrogy 

JJs Snack Shack

Near Pyrogy Park, stop by  JJ’s Snack Shack. While waiting for your food, chat up owner Heather Anderson.  She whips up specials all year long, such as the Cordon Bleu Burger, gluten-free Chicken Zingers, or fish and chips. Vegetarian options are available—pyrogies, natch. But, hey, you’re in the pyrogy capital of the world. So, order up Chili pyrogies, if available. 

For lunch accompaniment, play the YouTube video Eat Pierogi by Mee and the Band and enjoy an accordion playing pyrogy and a guaranteed earworm. You’ll be singing it all day. 

Explore further by walking around until you find Poachers Corner, an original pyrogy factory. You may get the impression that this is a hunting store—mounts on the wall for one—and you’d be right. Hunting gear is available, but so is camping equipment, toys, clothing, stoves, paint, footwear, and even a few groceries. Owners Betty and Walt Czuroski eventually turned it into what it is today, a one-stop shop for many of life’s needs.  

After visiting with the Czuroskis, roam down the street to the skatepark and an outhouse resembling a mini grain elevator. Adorbs, but should it not resemble a pyrogy?

The three-second pyrogy 

Glendon may be, and often is, accessed by ATV or snowmobile from Alberta’s 300 km Iron Horse Trail, which goes right through town.  

Events and unique treasures abound, but it’s all about the pyrogy, which reminds us of another friendly suggestion to the committee.  

There is a Guinness World Record that needs to be broken! 

You may want the townsfolk to start practicing because, in 2019, as you’ll see in this video, so called Pierogi Queen Beata Jasek of Krakow made 1066 pierogi in one hour! 

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