What’s that, you say? You’re not familiar with Pączki Day?
Similar to a doughnut, pączki are traditional Polish pastries that are often covered in powdered sugar and sometimes filled with jelly or creme. Pączki often pop up at Polish bakeries and delis on Fat Tuesday in the U.S., especially in cities across the Midwest with large Polish communities. For many, the day is co-declared “Pączki Day.”
The difference between a doughnut and paczki is in the dough. “It’s denser; it’s a yeast dough that doesn’t collapse when you bite in,” says Delightful Pastries owner and pastry chef Dobra Bielinski. “One of the reasons ours are so good is that we don’t use any additives; everything is from scratch – flour, sugar, butter, milk and eggs are the base.”
The local, family-owned and operated Chicago bakery, known as the city’s largest producer of authentic Polish pączki, has been ramping up to produce more than 40,000 pączki for this year’s delicious holiday. In addition to more traditional flavors, such as pączki stuffed with plum butter and raspberry jelly, Delightful Pastries also offers a signature series of “Drunken Pączki.” Flavors include vodka & vanilla bean custard and Jameson whiskey chocolate custard.
Visit one of their three locations today to stock up on your pączki and check them out year-round for other classic European baked goods and pastries—recipes handed down from generation to generation.