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Jan 15, 2008 12:44 PM


Do you know of a Bay Area bakery, church, or community group that is selling paczki.

Paczki (pronounced: poonch-key) are Polish-style doughnuts filled with jelly. The most popular day to eat paczki is Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. I grew up in the Detroit area where Fat Tuesday is more commonly referred to as paczki day.

Any help tracking these treats down will be most appreciated. I miss including them in any pre-Lenten festivities.

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    1. The problem with any paczki I’ve had in the Bay Area so far is they are always stale.

      Seakor Polish Deli on Geary in SF and in Canpbell will make them often on weekends, but I have yet to catch a fresh-tasting one. You might ask them if they will have them on Fat Thursday.

      Delikateski in Concord SAYS they fly them in from Chicago not on Fat Tuesday but on Fat Thursday. I missed that last year because I never heard about Fat Thursday. The promised more on Fat Tuesday but they never came. Still, how great can a donut that is flown in taste?

      The Church of the Nativity at 240 Fell Street has Paczki Day after the 11 am Mass on a Sunday near Ash Wednesday. The ladies of the church make them. That sounds wonderful in theory, but the ladies seem to make them days ahead of time and they are stale.

      To make it worse trying to get through all the cigarette smoke from all the Polish guys puffing on cigarettes on the sidewalk ups your risk of lung cancer … it’s that bad.

      Moscow & Tbilisi Bakery sells a Russian version that is close, but kind of heavy and oily.

      The bulochki at Crixa is pretty darn close to a good paczki, except there is no filling and they are baked rather than fried. I should revise my plan to ask them if they will make paczki this year. They could just put some jelly in that bulochki and no one would be the wiser.

      At Chanukah Saul's was selling a Jewish donut called sufganiyot which was better than any paczki I’ve had in the Bay Area. I keep meaning to ask them what bakery made them.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        I think sufganiyot *are* in fact just pączki by a different name (in yiddish we used to call the very same hannukah doughnuts "pontshkelekh") And yeah, they're pretty much stale within minutes out of the oil :) That said, I'm completely of no help finding them in the Bay Area, esp. at this time of year. I did see the Russian version recently, in a Korean supermarket of all places (!!)-- the Galleria market in Santa Clara (or maybe just into Sunnyvale?), on El Camino by the Lawrence Expy has a random Russian groceries corner, which had a few stale-looking baked goods.

        1. re: another_adam

          Here's my report on the sufganiyot from Israeli owned Neto Caffe in Mountain View,

          Might be worth a call to see if they're making 'em year-round.

          Neto Caffe
          135 Castro St, Mountain View, CA

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Thanks for the tip. I emailed Neto and will call or even go in there later in the week if they don't respond. I'll let everyone know what Neto says.

            1. re: geodanny

              That would be great, and if they're not on the menu now, maybe this is enough time to get things in motion for Fat Tuesday. The recipe from Neto was published in the Merc last year.