NewsWorks readers help a writer in search of the sour-cherry dumplings of her bubba

     (<a href=''>Sour-cherry varenyky image</a> courtesy of

    (Sour-cherry varenyky image courtesy of

    Stacia Friedman’s search for a lost sour-cherry varenyky recipe led her to discover her Ukrainian heritage. But where can she find the delicious dumplings? NewsWorks readers have some ideas.

    On Monday, Speak Easy published writer Stacia Friedman’s essay on Philadelphia’s unique connection to Ukraine, and the number of area Jewish families who may not realize their “Russian” grandparents were, ethnically, Ukrainian.

    Friedman also spoke of a lifelong wish to taste her Bubba’s varenikes, or varenyky, little dumplings that can be eaten sweet or savory, but in this case were filled with sour cherries and eaten with sour cream. When Friedman was just a child, her grandmother stopped baking, so she’s never had a chance to fulfill her gastronomic dream of tasting the sweet-tart pastries.

    Her search for a recipe led her not to Jewish cookery, or even Poland or Russia, as Friedman had expected, but to Ukraine.

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    So the mystery of Bubba’s recipe is solved, but one problem remains: Where to find the sour cherries.

    Some NewsWorks readers have come to the rescue.

    Locally, reader Aaron Cohensuggested checking the Net Cost Market, 11701 Bustleton Ave., which carries a large selection of Russian and Eastern European foods and boasts an entire aisle devoted only to various fruit juices.

    @NewsWorksWHYY Try "Net Cost" in NorthEast. They are a #russian market with #delicious foods from all over Eastern Europe @ImpressarioGLUE

    — Aaron Cohen (@ImpressarioGLUE) April 14, 2014


    Another suggestion came from a curator at Rutgers’ Zimmerli Art Museum, who suggested the Ukranian East Village restaurant in New York. Their menu features an array of dumpling varieties, including cherry.

    1of2 @NewsWorksWHYY One of our curators: "This article is so touching!!! Made me remember my own grandmother who made terrific varenyky."

    — Zimmerli Art Museum (@zimmerlimuseum) April 15, 2014

    2of2 @NewsWorksWHYY The closest place she could recommend is in NYC. But still asking around for Philly suggestions!

    — Zimmerli Art Museum (@zimmerlimuseum) April 15, 2014


    And now we’re hungry.

    You got any other suggestions?

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