It’s Fat Tuesday, and here in Southeastern Michigan, revelers have been lining up at local bakeries since 5 am for the once-a-year appearance of a Polish delicacy called a Paczki (pronounced ponch-ki or punch-key). In the Polish enclave of Hamtramck, it’s Paczki Day, complete with a parade.
A Paczki is like a jelly doughnut on steroids. Oval, and about the size of a large fist, it’s deep fried and stuffed with a fruit or creme filling. The dough, made from eggs, fats (LOTS of these), sugar and milk, is heavy and much more rich than a doughnut. A five ounce paczki contains about 450 calories. That’s an entire day’s worth of calories in some Third World countries.
Paczkis are deadly. Unbelievably tasty, they break down your resistance and almost force you to eat two, three, four at a sitting. Then they sit like rocks at the bottom of your stomach for the rest of the day.
It’s a great local tradition, and something to look forward to every year.