Translators’ startup: Polish pierogi now bigger than MacDonalds

“It all started out as a joke,” recalls UK-based Polish translator @transliteria. “My mum just made the best pierogi!”

For those who haven’t yet been swept up in the new global food sensation, pierogi are small, delicious dumplings originating in Poland. The idea for the business was first mooted by a small group of enthusiastic translators on Twitter. Within seconds, the first orders came rolling in from thousands of hungry translators from across the world.

Translators queue for pierogi

LOT Polish Airlines, Poland’s national carrier, reported that their capacity was strained to the limit as hundreds of thousands of translators from around the globe made their way to @transliteria’s mum’s door in the first week alone.

The venture was quickly globalized and localized by the planet’s army of translators who were more than ready to support the venture with their specialist skills. The translators were glad to have the opportunity to get a share in their own global business to supplement their generally meagre incomes – many translators are amongst the worst-paid of the world’s knowledge workers.

The company now sells its famous pierogi in every language and every country of the world. 

@transliteria’s mum still manages the production from her home kitchen, freezing the famous pies for international distribution. Pierogi have become Poland’s primary export with international revenues now triple that of MacDonalds.

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4 Responses to Translators’ startup: Polish pierogi now bigger than MacDonalds

  1. Joe Jeffries says:

    What a brilliant post. Pierogi are indeed the greatest little lumps of stodgy goodness ever invented. It was my birthday on Saturday and, by a happy coincidence, it was also the day that a 30kg box stuffed full of Polish food arrived at my flat. My better half isn’t going back to Poland for Easter, so her family sent her this box to make sure she doesn’t miss out on any of the fun. There’s everything; 3 sacks of pierogi, a big bag of kabanosy, about a tonne of pork sausage for barszcz, karkówka, dried mushrooms, a million different home made pickles and jams and more besides. The freezer is now groaning under the pressure of it all – I’d say there’s probably enough to keep us fed for the next decade or two. Needless to say, it’s one of the best birthday treats I’ve ever had. I’d really like to try some of the pierogi you mention in the post. They sound rather good.

    By the way (and apologies if you’ve dealt with this question before) but how do you feel about ‘dumplings’ being the accepted translation for pierogi? The first time I went to Poland I ordered pierogi based on that description, and when the plate arrived I thought, “those aren’t dumplings”. To me they’re more like ravioli, or very small, boiled Cornish pasties. I think most Brits see dumplings as big, spongy lumps that float around in stews, soaking up all the juices. What do the rest of you reckon?

    (Sorry for the big lump of text and any mistakes therein – I still haven’t mastered the art of typing from an iPod)

  2. Aga Gordon says:

    What a brilliant post, Paul and how quickly you managed to put it together after our conversation on twitter yesterday. It was great fun to build our venture on the mention on @transliteria’s mum delicious pierogi and I am still laughing reading this fantastic post! Well done! I am so much looking forward to more conversations (both for fun and professionally) on twitter, and perhaps over a cup of coffee and pierogi in real word some time in the future:)

  3. ISO 9001 says:

    Very good post, I was really searching for this topic, as I wanted this topic to understand completely and it is also very rare in internet, that is why it was very difficult to understand.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    ISO 9001

  4. Halina says:

    Dumplings is definitely a misleading description. They do remind of ravioli, though this would be an understatement, as ravioli doesn’t compare favourably with pierogi. They deserve a more flattering name. I would call them “pasta filled with …” e.g.: meat, cheese, mushrooms, sauerkraut, etc.

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