if you're hungry.....


In the center of FPU's campus is the Green, and the Food on the Green has plenty of variety. Mexican, BBQ, Falafel sandwich, and traditional Mennonite food. Two years ago we had Salvadoran food for the first time. Church members from Comunidad Cristiana City Terrace Hermanos Menonitas in Los Angeles drove four hours, one way, to sell pupusas –fried, flattened dough filled with savory meat and cheese. Every year can be different but always enjoyable. Come hungry!

Traditional Mennonite foods include fritters, verenika dinner, zwiebach, plus distinctive flavors from different parts of the world: Mexican burritos and tacos, Middle Eastern falafel sandwich, BBQ Tri-tip sandwich, BBQ sausage sandwich, BBQ chicken sandwich, hamburgers, hot dogs, Filipino food, pies, hot coffee, homemade ice cream, funnel cake with strawberries, pancake and German sausage breakfast, sodas, water and more.

Food on the Green begins around 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon and at 7 a.m. with breakfast on Saturday. There is plenty of seating, under the sun or under a tent. Come as a family and enjoy Friday evening and Saturday. Be sure not to miss the Quilt auction, there might just be one there just for you.

Country Store

If you like to shop, the Country Store is for you; it offers Amish cheese and butter, jams and jellies, honey, lemons, peppernuts, frozen verenika and sausage, pies and cookbooks. The people there are top notch, happy to serve you and get you what you want..... and You might want to try some lemonade just outside the door.

Thank you to the folks at the Dinuba Mennonite Brethren Church for making all the pies. They start in the summer by cutting and freezing all the fresh fruit. Then at Sale time, church members spend two whole days making the pies, bagging, labeling and getting them delivered to Fresno.

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The "two bread" zweiback booth is by far the busiest booth at the Relief Sale.

A short history lesson. Russian Mennonite zwieback, called Tweebak in Plautdietsch, is a yeast bread roll formed from two pieces of dough that are pulled apart when eaten. Placing the two balls of dough one on top of the other so that the top one does not fall off during the baking process is part of the art and challenge that must be mastered by the baker. Traditionally, this type of zwieback is baked Saturday and eaten Sunday morning and for afternoon Faspa (Standard German: "Vesper"), a light meal.

This zwieback (or zwieback) originated in the port cities of the Netherlands or Danzig, where toasted, dried buns were used to provision ships. Mennonite immigrants from the Netherlands, who settled in around Danzig in West Prussia, continued this practice and brought it to Russia, when they migrated to new colonies in what is today Ukraine.

Watch the video below to see the process. You can enjoy zweiback this April 9 & 10, 2019.


Verenika dinner (lunch)

This year, 2022, Verenika will be sold frozen in a bag of 12 at the Country Store.

Perhaps the most sought after foods at our relief sale is the Verenika (vur-EN-ih-kuh) Dinner (served at lunchtime) because of its appeal as being such a traditional Mennonite food. Verenika are small dough pockets filled with a cottage cheese mixture, boiled and/or fried, and served with cream gravy. Verenika became a part of the ethnic Mennonite Brethren experience when Mennonites lived in Ukraine. Also traditionally included: sausage, green beans, cherry moos (a cherry soup served cold), zwiebach and pie.

The pictures below show the volunteers making the Verenika a few weeks before the auction. If you would be join in this event, contact us and we will be sure to invite you.

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Fritters (Portselkie )

According to Norma Jost Voth in her book, Mennonite Foods & Folkways from South Russia, Mennonites gave their Russian neighbors Portselkie when they came and sang for them on New Year’s Day. The “cookies” were a symbol of affluence and luxury and carried with them the wish for an abundant year.

Fritters are made from a spongy yeast batter with raisins and dropped into deep hot oil. The dough puffs up, tumbles over, and fries to a golden brown. The “cookies” are then rolled in sugar and are best eaten when they are still warm.