Pączki Day

Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Carnival, Pancake Day - whatever name one gives it - this day is synonymous with good eatin'. Today - a day of excess and indulgence - is the last day before the Catholic Lenten period of fasting, prayer and penance. Some feast upon King Cake (I had a slice a few days ago and, for the first time ever, found the baby inside!) and others have their pancakes, but the Polish community has their Pączki.

Oh, to be in Hamtramck, Michigan today!  In my Christmas-time post, I wrote about the vast array of deliciousness found in the Polish bakeries there.  Few things, though, can rival the ultimate indulgence...the Pączki. This traditional Polish "doughnut" (for lack of a better term) consists of a round of deep fried dough filled with jelly, custard or chocolate and covered with glaze or powdered sugar.  In theory, these were made to use up all the goodies "forbidden" for consumption during Lent - lard, sugar, eggs.  (A single pastry can impart 800 or so calories - but who's counting?)

The crowd I encountered at Christmas pales in comparison to those crammed in on Pączki Day - or so I hear. (New Palace Bakery had t-shirts declaring, "I survived the crowds on Pączki Day!") While I once had the distinct privilege of sampling a raspberry jam-filled, powdered sugar dusted version, I long to stand hours in line with several THOUSAND of my closest friends on Pączki Day to buy my own white cardboard box tied with string!

(Thanks to the City of Hamtramck webpage http://www.hamtramck.us/ for the Pączki picture.)


  1. MMMM...jelly filled paczki! Now I want some!!

  2. There is another great Polish grocery/restaurant in Philadelphia - Krakus market http://www.krakusmarket.com/ That is where we bought our Pączki