By: Mike DeWitt
If your coworkers, friends and family look a little fuller around the waist this morning, it’s not your eyes playing tricks on you. Today is Fat Tuesday, or Paczki Day, a time for people to indulge in sweets and fatty goodness before Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent.
A paczki (pronounced poonch-key) is a delectable polish treat with rich dough, sweet fillings, rolled in powdered sugar and covered in glaze.
However, don’t make the mistake of comparing a paczki to a jelly doughnut.
A jelly doughnut is a cheap knockoff to a paczki. Real Polish paczki are made with extremely rich dough because religious law forbade the consumption of lard, sugar and eggs during the Lenten fasting season. Everything rich in the pantry was used to create the glorious treat that is then filled with a fruit or cream filing. While the added sweet in the center makes your taste buds jump for joy, it’s all about the dough. It’s dense, not light and fluffy, so it doesn’t collapse when you bite in.
While paczki are a well-known treat on Fat Tuesday, it’s a Polish concoction and not the only fat-filled item on the menu around the world. In Ukraine, it’s a crepe-like pancake called nalysnyky, and doughnuts called spurgos and krofne are made in Lithuania and Serbia, respectively. The treats may be different, but the idea is the same, dump all your butter and eggs into a pastry and eat up! It’ll be forty days until you have the chance again.
Looking for a paczki? Look no further than Marge’s Donut Den on 28th Street. Stop on in and indulge in the little calorie bomb’s carbo-loaded goodness!