IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! FAT TUESDAY OR PACZKI DAY!
By Lizzy Oparyk
It’s an annual tradition in my polish family heading into the Lent season to celebrate Fat Tuesday or Pączki Day, as my family calls it. We order our pączki ahead of time and indulge in this traditional Polish jelly-filled pastry known as a pączek (PON-check). The more commonly used name for the delicious treat is pączki (POONCH-kee), which is the plural pronunciation for this sweet treat.
For those of you who don’t know what Fat Tuesday or Pączki Day is, it’s a Catholic day of celebration, which takes place before Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. Polish immigrants, who brought these traditions with them to the United States would use this day to indulge in certain foods as a precursor to the traditional 40-day period of fasting leading to Easter. Many families, with strong Polish roots hold on to these important celebrations and over the years, many families who are not polish, have adopted this tradition.
These sweet treats that look like a classic jelly donut, are far richer with more fat and sugar in the yeast dough and don’t collapse when you bite into them. Pączki are pastries made from deep-fried flat dough with fruit or cream filling and are topped with a light dusting of powdered sugar. The traditional fruit filling is prune, but others include apricot, lemon, blueberry, raspberry and custard.
They Polish pączki, which most polish bakeries offer daily can usually only be found at most local bakeries on Fat Tuesday. Thankfully, Ellison’s, in downtown Sycamore offers these delicious treats once a year, and if you haven’t pre-ordered yours, get to your favorite bakery early, to get the best selections.
Whatever you end up doing or eating for Fat Tuesday, or Pączki Day, make sure you do it up in a sweet way and preferrably with a Pączki, or two in hand.
What will you be indulging in today? What, if anything will you be giving up for Lent? To be held accountable for my Lent journey this year, I left a comment in the comment section below. Please feel free to do the same and together we can lift one another up and end Lent on a high note.
Here are just a few ideas of what to give up: