So what is so special about these Polish pastries that they have their own holiday?
Four things you should know about Paczki Day:
1. The singular of paczki (poonch-key) is paczek (PON-check). While the correct pronunciation may be difficult to master, just don’t say \ˈje-lē\ \ˈdō-(ˌ)nət\.
2. Paczki may have come about as a way to use up ingredients before Lent.
Paczki have their roots with the Catholics in Poland. Ahead of Lent, which is a season of fasting and abstinence, paczki were made to use up all available sugar, eggs, butter, lard, and other goodness.
3. They apparently used to be filled with pork fat.
During the Middle Ages, it has been said paczki were filled with pork fat and fried in lard. After hiring French cooks, Polish King August III has been credited with ditching the fat for a sweeter treat.
4. Packzi Day Is Celebrated On Different Days
In the USA, Paczki Day coincides with Fat Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras), the day before Lent begins. In Poland however, Paczki Day is on Fat Thursday (Tlusty Czwartek) the Thursday BEFORE Fat Tuesday.
Paczki Day is celebrated in Polish-heavy Midwestern cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago, Green Bay, and of course right here in Algoma!
With a visit to North Water Bakery & Deli, 133 N. Water St. you can get your paczki fix Tuesday, February 13, 2018, beginning at 4 a.m. With 18 different flavors to choose from you are certain to find a favorite or two!
Happy Packzi Day! What will you choose?
Photo credit: North Water Bakery/Deli & Captain’s Galley Room‘s Facebook page.