Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Eat a Paczki, it's Fat Tuesday!

Yet another important Holiday is upon us: Fat Tuesday. In case you don't know this one it's always on the day before Ash Wednesday. The theory is that you are going to go into 40 some days of fasting and "giving up" of something, often sweets, and so you PIG OUT on the day before to help tide you over.

I like having a religious and cultural reason to eat a 1000 calorie donut called a paczki. (Say it "POONCH-KEE.") There were of course a whole selection of these in the coffee room at work today, and I skipped breakfast just so I'd have extra space for my sugary feast. I picked the flavor "apricot" although there were others including the tasty sounding "red gel." It was like spooning an entire jar of fruit preserves into my mouth and eating a donut at the same time. Afterwards my stomach felt like there was a rock in it. Ah, tradition!

The whole paczki thing is actually a rather recent, and regional, phenomenon. It orginated in Poland and for years the bakeries in Hamtramck would make them. I remember hearing about my Uncle Zenon standing in line to get his once. Then the newspapers started running stories about the lines outside the bakeries and now they're everywhere on this day and it's a big deal.

So Happy Paczki Day to you! I hope you got one! If not, get yourself some other high-fat indulgence and celebrate!


kid_curry said...

I've never understood why the Paczki is 600+ calories and a regular jelly donut is around 300. Do they soak them in oil first? Is it the extra jelly? What's the deal?

Mindy said...

Lard. They soak them in Lard. And use extra eggs, plus they're bigger than regular donuts by quite a bit. Apparently the original idea was to use up the ingredients before lent started.

MommyK said...

I'm of Polish heritage, so I LOVE Paczki! Haven't had one in a long time though, that whole half a day's worth of calories thing, yanno!