Have you had your jelly donut yet today?

8 Mar

Happy Fat Tuesday! Everyone knows that traditionally on Fat Tuesday you eat all things that are bad for you in preparation for Lenten fasting. However there is one tradition in my family that goes beyond just eating what is bad for you. And no I’m not talking about a smorgasbord at McDonald’s or a meal so big that you have to unbutton your pants after you eat. What I am talking about is the Polish tradition of eating jelly donuts on Fat Tuesday. I’m half Polish (there’s a little fact you may not have known) and being born in an almost all Polish town in North Central Wisconsin, those traditions stick at a young age.

From the time I can remember I would go with my Mom, Grandma or Aunt to the local bakery (Point Bakery was the best, although it’s not in business anymore – cries) and pick up Paczki. If the word looks foreign, it’s because it is. For the longest time I never knew how to spell it, let alone say it. But these jelly donuts are unbeatable. They’re the epitome of fried dough goodness, filled with prune preserves (that was the way it was in WI) and covered in granulated or powdered sugar. Is your mouth watering yet?

There is only one Polish bakery that I know of on the North Shore – Polonus Deli in Salem. Whenever my parents come to visit, we always try to make a trip there to pick up Packzi. Next time you’re up there, do yourself a favor, stop in and try one. I guarantee you’ll be hooked. They also have an amazing selection of imported foods from Poland, along with homemade meats and sausages (hello Kielbasa!)

Today I cheated a little bit on my Polish heritage. I didn’t have time to stop by Polonus so I did what any other self respecting New Englander would do – I went to Dunks. Thanks Dunks for helping to revive my memories of eating jelly donuts on Fat Tuesday. I can’t think of a better way to start the day!

~cdog

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