Paczki Day: A Taste of Polish Culture

 

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Dzień dobry! Happy Paczki Day!

Being married into a beautiful Polish family has exposed me to some really awesome ethnic traditions. One of these is the paczki, the traditional pre-Lenten jelly doughnut. The pronunciation of this exotic word is puunch-key. Sounds as delicious as it looks.

What a perfect way to celebrate Fat Tuesday…with a big, fat paczki!

Oh, the paczki. How can I describe the deliciousness? These doughnuts are more than just your regular, run-of-the-mill jelly doughnuts. These bad boys are huge, thick pastries packed with rich fillings and covered with either a powdered sugar or a crisp, sugary glaze. Traditional filling flavors range from raspberry to Bavarian cream to apple, among others. One is almost too much to consume at a sitting, yet the flavors and mouthfeel and sugar rush make you want to reach for another. Then another.

It’s okay. It’s Mardi Gras. You have permission to indulge!

Here in the South, we can purchase paczki at our local Kroger and Publix stores. In areas where there is a large Polish population, they can be found at local bakeries. No matter where you find them, I know you will agree that they are some of the best sweet-filled doughnuts on earth.

Dean ran an errand this morning and stopped in at our local Publix and snagged the box you see above. He dropped it off on the way back to work and now I sit here, gazing upon the loveliness, tempted to dig in. But I won’t. I’ll wait. One thing is for certain.

Dessert will be amazing tonight.

On the package pictured in the photo, Publix states the following:

“The paczki is a delicacy of Polish origin, a sinfully sweet pastry to indulge in on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent – and 40 days of fasting – begins. Larger and richer than regular jelly doughnuts, paczki come stuffed with a variety of traditional fillings you love.”

If you’ve never had a paczki and you love a sweet treat, head out today and track down a box or two. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Let the good times roll…with a paczki!

 

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