What Are Some Mennonite Foods?

Some traditional Mennonite foods are borscht (Ukranian beet soup), zwieback (bread roll), whoopie pies, perishky (meat-filled buns), vareniki (Ukranian stuffed dumplings) and portzelky (fried cookies). Mennonites have strong culinary traditions and there are many other delicious foods to try.

Food is deeply connected to Mennonites' sense of community. For instance, borscht is a kind of beet soup of Ukranian origin which is frequently served from large pots in Mennonite family and community gatherings. Breads, cakes, pies and cookies make up a large part of Mennonites' cooking tradition and they also evoke a sense of community and sharing. Because of their rural background, Mennonites are also renown for making the best of fresh produce and seasonal ingredients.

Mennonite cooking is associated with simple, substantial, and very tasty meals. It is important to note that the different Mennonite groups' typical foods are usually the result of a combination of "old country" cooking with the culture and history of the place the groups immigrated to.

"The Mennonite Community Cookbook", by Mary E. Showalter, is a classic reference of Mennonite cooking and a great source for recipes of their traditional foods. Local Mennonite communities are also preparing and publishing their own cookbooks, preserving their groups' culinary history.