Monday, February 12, 2007


Paczki are Polish doughnuts, usually eaten on Fat Tuesday. (The true Polish custom is to eat them the Thursday before lent, but due to Mardi Gras, it has become common to eat them on Fat Tuesday). There are different pronounciations, but we pronounce them "punch-key".

Lent used to have very strict fasting regulations and was truly a time of sacrifice . During the time when no faithful Catholic would think of eating eggs, fat, sugar, or meat during lent, frugal cooks began making Paczki to use up these ingredients so they would not spoil during the season of penitence and fasting.

This particular Paczki is filled with lemon and topped with powdered sugar.

Notice that there is no hole in a Paczki.

This past weekend we attended a Mardi Gras event. After draping my neck in a pair of battery-powered light up beads, I partook of this wickedly delicious indulgence. The custom is to satiate one's desire for sweets prior to the 40-day fast. To make very certain that my desire was sated, I thought it only appropriate to indulge in a second Paczki (the second was apple filled, and topped with cinnamon).

That did the trick. :)


  1. Zoey,
    Those look just yummy! I posted a recipe for lemon bars on Sunday that has a similar looking filling. This looks almost like a lemon filled donut?

  2. Oh gosh that looks good!! No wonder you had two of them, I would have too! lol I asked my husband about these, since he's Polish but he'd never heard of them...but then, as he said, they never really followed the Polish traditions after he was born! lol

  3. A doughnut is a doughnut, even with a funny name like Paczki and we all love them! (I think). I like jelly donuts with the stuff that looks like overdyed strawberries.
    Lent is hard, but I've come up with original meatless meals for Fridays-mostly pizza! ; )

  4. Susie, that is pretty much what it is. . .

    Pea, My hubby is Polish, too (I'm not).

    Dianne, I am big on Mrs. Gordon's Fish Fillets for lent. :)

  5. Right before Lent begins these appear in Chicago, too. It seems to me they were filled with raspberry rather than lemon, but it's been quite a while since I was there in Paczki season.

    I don't think Central Texas has much Polish food - this area has a pretty big Czech population & traditions like kolaches.

    I'm neither Polish nor Czech, but when it comes to bakery - am quite international in outlook!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. Man that looks good! So does the soup!

  7. I am looking for an old-fashioned kolache recipe. When our family was just getting started, we lived in a city apartment in a residential district. The lady across the street gave us some of her kolaches for Christmas. She was of the old school and when I asked her for the recipe, she said she did it by looks and feel and never measured ingredients. Of course they were the best kolaches I ever had, and she never offered to teach me. Years later someone did give me a recipe, but it called for cream cheese in the dough, which I feel sure was an American interpolation.

    Does anyone have great-grandmother's recipe?

  8. My German grandmother used to make "Fastnachts", which were pretty much the same thing. She would fill them with cherry preserves which she had made the previous summer. Oh YUM! The memories come flooding back. "-)


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