Some call it Mardi Gras, some call it Fat Tuesday, and some just call it Tuesday. But, a lot of us Polish folk call today Paczki Day!

Paczki Day is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of the season of Lent for many religious people. Wayyyyy back in the day, paczkis were made to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because you couldn't eat those things due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent. Now it's just tradition! Paczki is pronounced "pawnch-ki" or "puunch-ki," and they are basically a filled donut, but more fattening!  The dough is much richer, containing eggs, fats, sugar, yeast and sometimes milk. There are also a TON of different fillings, including various fruits and crèmes. Some are glazed, and some are covered with granulated or powdered sugar.

I was totally unaware that Paczki Day is not celebrated here! It's celebrated in areas of the Midwest with large Polish communities, including Detroit, Chicago, Buffalo, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Toldeo, and Windsor.

There's a city near Detroit called Hamtramck that celebrates HARDCORE, with a huge parade, a paczki-eating contest, and lines at the bakeries that stretch down the block!

So... now you know! Find a bakery and try a paczki today! :)

For more info and pictures, click HERE.