Beware of Paczki Day
We call the day before Lent “Fat Tuesday” because, traditionally, it’s the day people of faith gorge on the foods they’ll be giving up for Lent, the supposedly contemplative time before Easter. But in my neck of the woods, it’s Fat Tuesday because it’s Paczki Day.
A paczki – erroneously but most commonly pronounced punch-skee – is a supersized donut, stuffed with gooey, sugary cream or fruit fillings. These Polish-inspired concoctions have 300 to 450 calories and 22 to 27 grams of fat. Some other sources say each paczki may have up to 500 calories.
To burn just one of them off, you’d need to go for a run – not a jog or walk – for 50 minutes. And nobody eats just one.
The reason they are so big and fat laden is because, Polish tradition tells us, they were made to use up the lard and eggs, which were prohibited during Lent.
Whatever, this 2008 piece from the CBS Sunday Morning show captures the essence of Paczki Day in the Polish enclave of Hamtramck, near Detroit.