Tuesday, February 08, 2005


The days has come--and I could not be happier. All the slush and cold and air travel was worth it, if only for the little bag of goodies I just bought. And that WEMU is on, and Linda Yohn is playing New Orleans jazz.

So Happy Paczki Day!

Anyone with a paczki obsession who is not in range of a good Polish bakery, should probably stop reading now. Don't worry: I'll post about something else soon.

For anyone unfamiliar with the holiday or with my obsession with these amazing little doughnuts, here is a good description of the holiday:

Paczki Day is a Polish Holiday and was essentially unknown to the greater Detroit area until the 80’s when the media first started covering this day and, more aptly, the yummy Polish treats. Now it seems like everyone is Polish on Paczki Day! It’s become a Detroit tradition, regardless of ethnic origin.

If you want to pick up a dozen paczkis for your family or office, you can get them at any authentic Polish bakery. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the paczkis offered up at your local donut franchise or grocer is the real thing. These aren’t just any jelly-filled donuts. You can put in advance orders with most bakeries. If you wait until Paczki Day to pick up your donuts, be prepared for a possible line!

And the paczki:

It uses a richer batter than traditional donuts. These donuts are traditionally filled with raspberry or prune filling although a huge variety of other fillings are now available. Hamtramck, a small Polish city within Detroit, is where the authentic Polish bakeries are located and thousands of metro Detroiters travel to Hamtramck every year on Fat Tuesday to indulge. In Detroit, Fat Tuesday is so named for the oil and shortening found in paczkis that Christian Poles so often give up for Lent.

I have started off with a brilliant raspberry paczek--one of the traditional flavors. The dough is the perfect mix of light and heavy, so you don't forget that you are indulging, yet you believe (against your better judgment) that you should keep eating the things. The filling is sweet and tart--not oversweet and artificial like most doughnuts have, but with that perfect sharpness you associate with the real fruit and that the best jams manage to capture. I think this raspberry one has bits of actual raspberry in there, and maybe some lemon zest. The outside has that great fried texture but then is glazed ever so lightly. Really, how could anything be better?

Well, OK, how about this: I still have a cream-filled one, a lemon-filled one, and a blueberry one. What a day, what a day!

Confidential to those who have reached this site looking for the calorie-count for paczki: Get in the spirit, folks! Fat Tuesday is just that. Indulge today, enjoy what you eat, and then go back to your restraint tomorrow.


Brumaire said...

I thought of you listening to NPR's "Day to Day" which had a special on Pacski Day this afternoon:


They even have a recipe...

freeman said...

Good to know that you were able to come up here to MI at the right time to get some paczkis!

WEMU is not only a great station, but it's the only one I ever listen to. It's also the only one that my stereo will pick up since it doesn't have an antenna and EMU is only 3 blocks or so from my apartment.

Isis said...

Oh, Freeman, I envy you your radio reception. I miss WEMU so, so much. I really need to get some decent speakers for my computer so I can listen over the web. And the reason it is the only station you listen to? I'd wager it is because no one could dream of a better one.