|Place of origin||United States|
|Region or state||Nebraska|
|Created by||None/Traditionally Ethnic (Volga Germans)|
|Main ingredients||Bread, Ground beef, Cabbage, Seasonings, Onion|
|Variations||Cheddar Cheese, Swiss Cheese & Mushrooms, Italian style, Jalapeños, Vegetarian|
|530 (Standard/"Original") kcal|
A runza (also called a bierock, krautburger, or kraut pirok) is a yeast dough bread pocket with a filling consisting of beef, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. Runzas can be baked into various shapes such as a half-moon, a rectangle, a round (bun), a square, or a triangle. The runzas sold by the Runza restaurant chain are rectangular while many of the bierocks sold in Kansas are round buns.
The runza is a regional cuisine of Nebraska, with some commentators calling it "as Nebraskan as Cornhusker football." It is served by the Nebraska Society of Washington, D.C. and the Nebraska Society of New York at their Taste of Nebraska events and was chosen to represent the state at Flavored Nation, an event serving iconic dishes from all fifty states.
The runza sandwich originated from pirog, a Russian baked good or more specifically from its small version, known as pirozhok (literally "little pirog"). Volga Germans, ethnic Germans who settled in the Volga River valley in Russia at the invitation of Catherine the Great in the 18th century, adapted the pirog/pirozhok to create the bierock, a yeast pastry sandwich with similar savory ingredients. When the political climate turned against the Volga Germans, many emigrated to the United States, creating communities across the Great Plains. These immigrants, including the Brening family that settled near Sutton, Nebraska, brought their bierock recipes with them. Sarah "Sally" Everett (née Brening), originally of Sutton, is credited with adapting her family's bierock recipe into the runza and also inventing the name for the sandwich. In 1949, Everett went into business selling runzas with her brother Alex in Lincoln.
Many sources agree that Sally Everett invented the name "runza" although it is likely she adapted it from an existing name for the sandwich; either the krautrunz, an older, different German name for the bierock, or the Low German runsa, meaning "belly", alluding to the gently rounded shape of the pouch pastry. The modern German ranzen, also meaning satchel, derives from runsa. The word "runza" is registered as a trademark in the United States, held by the Runza restaurant chain.
- List of American sandwiches
- List of regional dishes of the United States
- List of sandwiches
- List of stuffed dishes
- Coffey, Kevin (18 Oct 2019). "Have you tried the new veggie Runzas? We did". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved 16 Nov 2020.
- "Runza Nutrition Information" (PDF). Runza.com. December 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- Rojas, Warren (March 26, 2014). "Nebraskans Know There's No Substitute for Runza". Roll Call. Washington D.C. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- Bordsen, John (December 27, 2016). "Sandwich That Stems from Eastern Europe Powers Great Plains Chain". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- Billingsley, Kay; Carman, Tim (April 29, 2016). "Nebraska Runzas, by Way of Washington". Washington Post. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
- Pearce, Marlene. "Krautburger". Allrecipes.com. Retrieved 16 Nov 2020.
- Neil, Denise. "Where to get bierocks, the official food of Kansas in the fall". The Wichita Eagle.
Some bake them in a round shape. Some make them rectangular.
- Landsel, David. "Only Nebraskans Know The Runza". Food & Wine.
- "2016 Taste of Nebraska". Nebraska Society of Washington, D.C. Archived from the original on 2018-11-05. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
- MacMillan, Kyle (15 May 1987). "Manhattan to Taste Nebraska Foods". Omaha World-Herald.
What do you do when you live 1,252 miles from Nebraska and you suddenly have a craving for a Runza or a slice of Valentino's pizza? You order them flown in, of course. That's exactly what the Nebraska Society of New York plans to do for its Nebraska food extravaganza in New York City Sunday.
- O'Connor, Michael (28 August 2017). "The Runza will represent Nebraska at new national food event". Omaha World-Herald.
- Baker Hansen, Sarah (1 April 2017). "Runza: The story of one of Nebraska's most treasured foods". Omaha World-Herald.
- Rosengarten, David (11 April 2018). "The runza sandwich: Where else but Nebraska?". Dallas County News.
- McMorris, Robert (15 July 1978). "Runza: Original Name for Old Recipe". Omaha World-Herald. pp. 15–16.
- "Alex Brening". Orlando Sentinel. 12 June 1992.
- "How We Support Our Franchises". Runza.com. Retrieved December 27, 2016.