Polish pastries pack Fat Tuesday punch
In Windsor, Ont., it is the day your taste buds crave, your arteries dread — Fat Tuesday — better known within the border city as Paczki Day.
And it is a growing tradition, with tens of thousands of the 500-calorie treats being sold for Mardi Gras.
The paczki, pronounced poonsh-key, is made for many, Polish pastry perfected.
It’s a round, jelly-filled dough ball tossed in icing sugar traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday to mark the end of celebrations before the Christian period of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
[ad#scarlett_post]Packzi purists order the prune-filled variety, but the pastries also come in raspberry, lemon, strawberry, prune, blueberry, apple, custard and occasionally chocolate.
According to recipe, one paczki packs 25 grams of fat.
Polish immigrants brought the paczki
The paczki phenomenon came to Windsor on the city of Hamtramck, Mich., just throughout the Detroit River.
A rush of Polish immigrants arrived there within the early 20th century seeking work on the Dodge Brothers automobile factory.
By 1970, the region was 90 % Polish, as well as the popularity of the paczki had grown beyond the borders of Hamtramck.
“Each year is more paczki. This year we’re making the record,” said Ali Bazzi, from Sunrise Bakery.
“It is a every year thing,” said Bazzi. “People don’t worry about the calories.”
Bazzi, who is Lebanese, have been making paczki for 15 years. He said making paczki isn’t about being Polish, it’s about good business sense.
His bakery had orders for 42,000 paczki on Tuesday, 17,000 that were purchased from the Caesars Windsor casino.
$10 a dozen
The going rate for any dozen paczki is $10 or $1 a piece. Even Canadian bakery giant Tim Hortons is getting within the game, selling paczki for 95 cents each, or $7.50 a dozen.
Paczki production was arrived at Blak’s Bakery all day long Monday and overnight into Tuesday.
For 92 years, Blak’s provides a family recipe, and everyone within the clan is supposed to pitch in and help on Paczki Day. Twenty-six of them expected to box 24,000 paczki in 2010.
Most paczki are pre-ordered, by 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Blak’s was sold out.
The next Shrove Tuesday, or Paczki Day, falls on March 8, 2011.