This weekend is your chance to eat a fried meat pie called a fleischkuechle. The Fleischkuechle meat pie trailer, which has served its meat turnovers for more than 20 years outside the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, will fire up the fryers today at the Pierce County Fair in Graham. Consider this your fried pie training mission for when the Pierce County-based truck returns to the state fair, Sept. 5 in Puyallup.
For the uninitiated, a fleischkuechle - for which the business is named - is a pocket of dough stuffed with a flattened out meat patty and fried. Its origins are Russian and German and it's pronounced either fleisch-KOOSH-lay or fleisch-KEESH-lay, depending on your European address.
The meat pie business had been in the family of sisters-in-law Pat Tuthill and Pat Jorgensen for 50 years, the last 20 of which as a food trailer operating just outside the gates of the fairgrounds. When the business lost that prime spot outside the fair, they announced their retirement, but later decided to sell the business to family friends Virginia “Ginny” Vrieze and her son Ben Vrieze.
Perhaps the neatest part of the sale is that Tuthill and Jorgensen sometimes show up at the trailer to work. Last year, the Vrieze family received the ultimate nod of approval from the fair - for the first time, the trailer was invited to sell its pies inside the fairgrounds.
The Vriezes have continued to update the menu, adding a fried macaroni and cheese pie (it's tastier than it sounds) and recently added a fried peach pie. Find more information about the business at their Facebook page. For information on the Pierce County Fair in Graham, which starts today and continues through Sunday, check out this website.