Ever head of Paczki?

Although Michigan and Iowa are very similar because they both Midwest states, there are some big differences I've noticed between the two. One of those big differences is the way that Iowans and Michiganders celebrate Fat Tuesday.

Fat Tuesday, in case you didn't know, is defined as:

"The day before Ash Wednesday. It is also known as Mardi Gras Day or Shrove Day. It is a day when people eat all they want of everything and anything they want as the following day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a long fasting period for Christians."

In Eastern Michigan, there is a city called Hamtramck, which has a very large Polish community. My grandma actually immigrated to the city from Poland, and that's where my dad grew up. I'm a Polish girl, so that means my love of Paczki flows through my blood. What is "Paczki?" Let me show you:

Pazcki (pronounced poonch-kee) are Polish jelly donuts. I like to call them jelly donuts on crack. The difference between Paczki and your average jelly donuts is that they are made from "especially rich dough containing eggs, fats, sugar, yeast and sometimes milk." Wikipedia also says, "they feature a variety of fruit and creme fillings and can be glazed, or covered with granulated or powdered sugar." 

Until I moved to Iowa, I had never experienced a Fat Tuesday without Paczki. I thought it was something that everybody knew about! I know that Hy-Vee and a couple of other places make them for the holiday, and they're good, but they're just not the same as they are back home. If you ever get to opportunity to visit an authentic Polish bakery, DO IT. It'll change your life.

Today in Hamtramck, people will be lined up around the block for Paczki. No joke! This was one of the lines this morning:

Also, shout out to listener Lisa for baking us some authentic ones a few years ago. I STILL dream about them:


Happy Fat Tuesday, everyone!

[Via Wikipedia]

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