For someone like me who is a descendant of Polish immigrants it’s Paczki Day. A single one is paczek pronounced “pohn-check” and more than one paczek is paczki, pronounced “poonch-key”. There always seems to be a lot of confusion about paczki, I think because the big box stores started selling them, and they just make them with their usual doughnut recipe. A bismarck and a paczek are not the same thing, the box stores need to stop passing off jelly doughnuts as paczki. According to my grandmother, pączki are made with a richer heavier dough that has more eggs and sugar and Grandma said Polish people did not have a lot of money for fancy fillings, if they had any filling at all, it was usually prune. I think people think the paczki is supposed to be fancy like a French pastry or something, but the paczki recipe was a way polish Catholics used up their dairy and eggs and indulged themselves before lent. When you eat a paczki, it’s not just deep fried dough, its part of Polish heritage and reminds me of a time my relatives came over from Poland seeking a better life. They may not have been rich, but they were honest hard working people.
If you want authentic Polish paczki, you need to go to a polish Catholic Church and St Josaphat’s in Carrollton still makes authentic paczki. I went to school there for a few years and before the church built the building across the street they used to make the paczki in the basement. I could smell that wonderful aroma all day during school, we did get to do down there and each student got one fresh hot paczek and you had your choice between plain and powdered sugar.
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