Russian cuisine. Pelmeni vs vareniki. What is the difference?

In English, a broad class of dishes that consist of pieces of cooked dough, often wrapped around a filling, is called as one word dumplings. In most cases, there are differences between various types of dumplings, such as between pelmeni and vareniki.
← Various types of dumplings.
Pelmeni and vareniki are two of the most popular dishes in Russian cuisine, but not everyone knows the differences between them.
  1. Pelmeni;
  2. Fried pelmeni;
  3. Vareniki.
Raw minced meat is used for pelmeni filling. Depending on the region of Russia, there are pelmeni with beef, pork, turkey, chicken, goose, venison, lamb, bear and moose meat. Sometimes different types of meat are mixed in equal proportions. As a rule, spices are added to the meat to taste: onion, garlic, pepper, salt. Pelmeni need to be cooked longer so that not only the dough, but also the meat is boiled. Pelmeni are always served as the main course dish.

Some types of pelmeni fillings

Vareniki are filled with ready-to-eat stuffing. All that remains is bring the dough to readiness by boiling vareniki in water. As a filling for vareniki, strawberries, pitted cherries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, blueberries, apricots, apples, potato puree with fried onions, fried mushrooms, tvorog and cheese are wrapped in the dough. Some vareniki can be classified as dessert, as they taste sweet. Other vareniki come in fasting and vegetarian varieties.

Some types of vareniki fillings

There is a difference in shape between pelmeni and vareniki. Vareniki are shaped like a semicircle, sometimes with curls around the edge, and pelmeni resemble a human ear. Vareniki are usually larger in size than pelmeni.

You can't tell the difference between pelmeni and vareniki based on the thickness of the dough. Some people believe that there should be more dough in pelmeni in order for them to retain their shape. Others believe that there should be more dough in vareniki so that the filling does not fall out during cooking.

It is believed that pelmeni spread throughout Russia from Siberia, and vareniki from Ukraine.
← Spread of pelmeni and vareniki throughout the Russian Empire.
Due to the fact that the filling of pelmeni consists of raw meat, after cooking they produce a very rich, aromatic and tasty broth. That's why some people prefer to eat pelmeni in its own broth. Pelmeni can also be eaten fried. In their classic form, pelmeni and vareniki are served boiled, without broth, with different sauces.
← Pelmeni broth.
The most common sauces for pelmeni are sour cream, mustard, ketchup, butter, mayonnaise, but this is not a complete list. Likewise for vareniki with potatoes and mushrooms. Sweet vareniki are eaten with sour cream, yogurt, jam, syrup or any sweet sauce.
If you are in Belgrade (Serbia), you can easily try pelmeni and vareniki, and also find out the difference between them by placing an order on the «URA!» restaurant website.
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