What Are Paczki, And Why Is The Polish Donut a Mardi Gras Staple?

Dessert is nice. And dessert for breakfast is even better. Especially when it's deep fried and loaded with a sweet filling. But we're not talking about donuts here. We're talking about paczki, a Polish doughnut-like treat that's popular during Mardi Gras in the Midwest. Come with us as we dive into how the Paczki Day tradition came about, and why this should be your new favorite Fat Tuesday delicacy.

Paczki are Polish donuts made with a sweet filling, like jelly or cream, and dusted with powdered sugar on the top. They're usually enjoyed on Fat Tuesday, which is the last day before Lent begins.

Paczki were originally created as both a way to indulge before Lent and a way to use up ingredients that people typically stopped consuming during this time, like sugar, butter, and milk.

Paczki may look like your average jelly-filled donuts, but they're made with slightly different ingredients. In place of cake or pastry flour used in traditional donuts, paczki use high-gluten flour and grain alcohol.

Avoid sounding like a newbie when ordering your first paczki by using the proper pronunciation. The Polish treat is pronounced “pohnch-kee." And keep in mind, that is the plural form. The word "paczkis" is not real.

In many areas of Michigan or in Chicago, Fat Tuesday is lovingly referred to as Paczki Day. However, if you prefer to go to the paczki source of Poland, there they have Fat Thursday, which is the last Thursday before Lent.

Swipe up for Where to Get Paczki!