Pączki Day is nearly here and I picked up a freshly baked variety from Sweetheart Bakery to celebrate T.J.’s birthday today.
The plump pastries (do not call them donuts) date to the Middle Ages in Poland, so it made sense to sink a candle in one for my Polish husband’s middle-aged birthday.
Pączki (pooch-key) are rich balls of dough deep-fried and filled with fruit, creme or custard and then glazed or dusted with powdered sugar. They’re a traditional means of using up the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit before the Catholic population begins its Lenten fast in Poland.
While the homeland observes Pączki Day on the Thursday before Lent, it’s a Fat Tuesday celebration in Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, Milwaukee, and other heavily Polish communities (made heavier, no doubt, after a few 425-calorie pączki).
Hamtramck makes it a Midwest mini-Mardi Gras. The city, which is contained within the city of Detroit, once was once the address of the largest Polish population in the U.S.
Today Hamtramck is home to immigrants from many countries, but it retains its Polish roots through a handful of restaurants, bakeries, the Polish Art Center, and celebrations like Pączki Day tomorrow, March 5.
From 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday in beautiful downtown Hamtramck there’ll be music, Polish dancers, pączki samplings, and an appearance by Mr. Pączki.
Click here for more info and a video about Pączki Day in Hamtramck, where the lines will form early Tuesday morning for fresh baked, once-a-year pączki.
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