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Feb 23, 2009 04:34 AM

Paczki day tomorrow!

It stems from the Polish tradition of using up the fat and sugar before Lent. Gooey, fatty, filled doughnuts...mmmmm

Is this just a big deal in Detroit? Or has the rest of the world discovered the joys of paczki?

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  1. It is Fat Tuesday, in general. All kinds of excess before giving it all up for Lent.

    I enjoy panczki, and miss panczki day (I grew up on the West side of Detroit), but kind of wait for those Hot Cross buns, sold as the Lent substitute for sweets.

    1. It's big in Chicago too. We've got both Polish Paczki day (Thurs. before Ash Wed.) and then American Paczki day (Tues. before Ash Wed.).

      2 Replies
      1. re: leek

        Pączki Day is big enough in Chicago that the local news will do afternoon segments from Polish bakeries, documenting the long lines of Chicagoans waiting in the cold just for one paczek before Lent.

        It's not such a big deal in cities where Poles have less of a presence. The only people who even know what pączki are in NYC seem to be Poles and Midwestern ex-pats.

        1. re: JungMann

          This will be the a the top of the news in Detroit tomorrow, too. They'll talk about who's buying and what flavors. Never stops amazing me that people want to eat prune Paczki's. At least it's something different than starting off with the state of the economy.

      2. In Connecticut (and Massachusetts), Big Y (supermarket chain) makes a big deal out of them, though I have read on other threads to stay away from their paczki. Am sure good ones can be found in New Britain where there's a large Polish community and specialty stores. But check out this billboard for fun. :) And here's a link to a paczki contest (what's in the paczki)!

        1 Reply
        1. re: kattyeyes

          The Pennsylvania Dutch tradition is fastnachts, and the origin is very much the same. You need to use up all of those things you will need to do without during lent, specifically sugar and lard (lard being a meat derivative). Fastnachts (pronounced fahzt-knocks) are usually round, or somehat football shaped doughnuts. After being taken out of the fat & drained, they are put in a paper bag with sugar & cinnamon, shaken to get them coated, then eaten hot. They are always just solid dough -- no holes (that would be wasteful), and are never filled, although they do go well with a schmear of apple butter or some honey.

        2. I miss my grandma's paczki day so much - she's been dead 22 years now, and no one kept the tradition up in the family. When I was little, my job was to frost (vanilla or chocolate glaze) and sprinkle (coconut, chopped peanuts, jimmys, etc.), after my gram filled them with her delicious homemade jellies (strawberry, cherry and blueberry).

          Hmmm .... I might make faschnachts tomorrow - I have everything for them......

          1. That sounds so good. Even though I'm part Polish, the only thing I had up until a few months ago was peirogie and krischuki. I have a nice little Polish restaurant and deli in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. I am going to try and see if they have them.