If it’s Fat Tuesday, it must be Paczki Time!

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Polish-Americans are the largest European ethnic group in the Chicago metropolitan area, which can only mean we probably have more paczki per capita than other cities.  What is a paczki, you ask?

Paczki box

For hundreds of years in Poland, the people have been celebrating the arrival of Lent by making paczki, pronounced “punch-key.”  These delicious, jelly or custard-filled dough balls are made from the finest ingredients and are covered by several types of sugar or a glaze.

Paczki tower

For Fat Tuesday (Ostatki), the day before Ash Wednesday, Polish bakers make paczki because there is going to be a 40-day fast.  There are many fillings available, and this year my husband decided on blueberry-filled, raspberry-filled, a plain custard with a sugar-coating, and a custard with a chocolate glaze.

Paczki split with filling

This pastry is known as Berliners to the Germans, and Krapfen to the Austrians.  Whatever you want to call them, have one for Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras.  Or have two.  After all, there won’t be any more available after Tuesday!

Paczki with gold coins

Paczki chocolate extreme close up

Come on. Take a bite. You know you want to…

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5 Responses to If it’s Fat Tuesday, it must be Paczki Time!

  1. March 3, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Those really look terrific ….but very professional! As a young girl in Minnesota my Mother made Fastnachts for Fat Tuesday – having to use up all the oil before Ash Wednesday. Back then they didn’t fancy them up with filling, frosting, etc. Here in PA Fastnachts are VERY popular – but they, too, have fancied them up. Used to be a big fund raising event for fire companies, church groups, etc. Don’t know if I’ll go out for any … but they are yummy!

    • March 3, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

      Shirley, Bill bought those in the bakery of one of our upscale grocery stores. Around here, you can find them almost anywhere this time of year. I have never tasted a fastnacht. Do you still have your mother’s recipe?

  2. March 4, 2014 at 7:43 am #

    Not fair–I haven’t had breakfast yet! Thanks for the reminder that it’s Fat Tuesday! 😉

    • March 4, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      Hope you have paczki in your area, Brett!

  3. March 8, 2014 at 11:50 am #

    Someone mentioned that it is Fat Thursday, not Fat Tuesday. Actually, it’s both. In Poland, the day is known as Tlusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday) and is observed on the last Thursday before Ash Wednesday. In the United States, most Polish communities celebrate Paczki Day on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.

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