In Metro Detroit, it’s one of the things that signifies the coming of spring. It generates excitement and pride. And it’s not the first appearance of flowers popping up in the yards. It’s paczkis and Paczki Day! If you wish you lived closer to Bon Bon Bon in Hamtramck or maybe don’t have Polish roots you may be wondering what all of the hype’s about. The Babes have narrowed down the four things that you should know about paczkis to join in the festivities.
How the heck do I even say “paczki”?
First of all, you should know that it’s Polish and traditionally written pączki and is technically the plural, so if you have familiarity with Slavic languages that might help you. For everyone else, the best way to describe how to say it is POONCH-key. In the Americanized word, paczki is the singular and paczkis is the plural.
What makes a paczkis special?
The dough for paczkis is especially rich, using eggs, fats, sugar, yeast and sometimes milk. Fillings vary, but the traditional fillings are plum jam or wild rose jam. You can also find them filled with strawberry, Bavarian cream, custard, blueberry, raspberry or apple. Sometimes they’re glazed, while other times they’re dusted in powdered sugar. They are deep fried in oil and if you see a bright band around the middle it means they were fried in fresh oil.
Why are paczkis mostly eaten now?
In the Christian tradition the 40 days before Easter, Lent, are observed with fasts and abstaining from consuming some richer foods such as lard, sugar, eggs and fruit. In order to use up those items, in Poland Fat Thursday, or the Thursday before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, became a folk tradition. Paczkis were a way to use up those ingredients. Polish immigrants in the US merged this tradition with other pre-Lenten traditions like Mardi Gras and Pancake Day, making the day before Ash Wednesday Paczki Day.
Can I get a paczki in bon form?
You bet you can! The first step is to stand in line around the block at New Palace Bakery for a hot dozen of the old school classic. Hamtramck, our home, has traditionally been home to Polish immigrants and even has a Paczki Parade for the day. Stop in to Whiskey in the Jar and ask for a shot of jezynowka, and then head down to Bon Bon Bon to celebrate. We love our community and its traditions, and we want to share what makes this place so special with you. This year, our Paczki Bons will have custard or rosehip jam. Stop in and get in on the Paczki Day celebrations with your local Babe Babe Babe.