Paczki Day is here!
What’s a paczki (pronouonced POONCH-key), you ask? If you’re asking, you’re probably not from Buffalo and I’ll indulge the explanation:
A paczek is a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a flattened sphere and filled with confiture or other sweet filling. Paczki are usually covered with powdered sugar, icing or bits of dried orange zest.
Although they look like bismarcks or jelly doughnuts, paczki are made from especially rich dough containing eggs, fats, sugar and sometimes milk. They feature a variety of fruit and creme fillings and can be glazed, or covered with granulated or powdered sugar. Prunes and rose-petal jam are traditional fillings, but many others are used as well, including lemon, strawberry, Bavarian cream, blueberry, custard, raspberry and apple.
In Poland, people typically celebrated paczki day on “Fat Thursday”, the Thursday prior to the beginning of lent. Paczki were made to use up all the household ingredients that were forbidden during the lenten season, like eggs, butter, lard and fruit. In Buffalo and other American cities filled with Polish immigrants, Paczki Day is our annual mardi gras celebration. Yes, we celebrate mardi gras not with beer, beads, drunken revelry and breast showing, but with donuts. That’s how we roll up here in Buffalo.
You can make your own paczki or you can simply head down to pretty much any local bakery in Buffalo as they stock up on paczki this time of year. Some of my favorite paczki pickup locations are:
or you can kick it old school paczek and head down to The Broadway Market, which is opening up at 8AM for all of your paczki needs.
No matter where you go to get ’em, enjoy ’em.