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Today was a day of unfettered gluttony, Paczki Day and for those outside of the D, Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. My son and I braved the crowds at the bakeries in Hamtramck today to buy the most delectable item ever created, a Paczki – a larger, lighter than air donut filled with a fruit jelly or custard.  The Paczki are the polish way of celebrating the beginning of the Lenten season. Years ago, it was tradition for Polish Catholics to to make way for Lent by getting rid of all of their dairy and meat products because during Lent those items were to be avoided until Easter, when you splurge again for a celebration of Jesus Christ rising from the dead.  Today, the Catholic fasting guidelines are not as strict, but the Paczki stayed intact. Hamtramck has capitalized on this day and Detroit knows a good thing. During Paczki Day, the Polish League American Veteran’s hosts the Paczki Day Blowout a day of all things paczki – there is an official paczki eating contest, rock and roll and drinking. It’s the Polish version of St. Patrick’s Day.

The most traditional paczki is one with a prune filling. While they don’t sound so appetizing, they are; you just have to have an open mind.

As anyone will tell you, a paczki is great with a cup of coffee. So, grab a cup and a paczki and remember only 40 more days until we feast like this again.

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