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  • Paczki Recipe

    January 26, 2023 3 min read


    A plate of Paczki with the top one with a bite out of it showing the filling


    Have you heard of Polish donut day? One of the most loved foods from the spectre of Polish cuisine are pączki or donuts, because of the tradition of Fat Thursday (in Poland) or Shrove or Fat Tuesday (US or other), the last days before lent.


    So what is Fat Thursday?

    Let’s begin with Polish donuts... One of the best foods the world as we know it has to offer. Bread, sugar, sweet filling, grease... they may sound awfully unhealthy and not quite one of the typical Polish lenten recipes, but they sure are delicious!

    Now imagine a holiday – or a tradition more likely, that makes it okay to stuff your face with as many donuts as you want. Fat Thursday, or Tlusty Czwartek, really does exist, and is celebrated in many cultures around the world, but most especially, in Poland. Fat Thursday in Poland is celebrated by eating pączki donuts, a Polish of a bit fuller dough with jam filling.


    As Christian Easter always falls on different dates, but always the same days of the week, Polish Fat Thursday occurs six days before the beginning of Lent or before Ash Wednesday (a holy day of prayer).

    Fat Tuesday or Mardi Grass is a similar custom falling on the very last day before lent, which some celebrate by eating pancakes or other rich foods that are not allowed during the time of lent. Another practical reason for this day was that it made it easier to get rid of sugar, eggs, fruit and foods which you wouldn’t otherwise be able to use up days before lent.

    Some Poles, especially in US, celebrate a Polish Fat Tuesday instead, while some prefer the Shrove Thursday. Either way, during this time, you will see shops filled with these lent donuts!


     As you might’ve already guessed, this will not be an article on Polish lenten meals. Quite the opposite!

    Pączki are not the only food you can eat to feel like celebrating Tlusty Czwartek. Actually, anything fatty and sweet is considered okay, and people also often eat another Polish cuisine staple called faworki (dough finger-like sweet covered with powdered sugar) or even placki (a kind of potato pancakes,served with sour cream). As this is the last time you can enjoy meals forbidden during lent, and especially so in preparations for Easter and the holy week, make paczki a dessert that will follow such specialties of Polish food as: kotlet schabowy (as you should abstain from meat), sour rye soup (containing hard boiled eggs), pierogi (often containing fried onions). If it’s any consolation, polish cuisine staple pickled cucumbers can stay on the menu even throughout the Lenten fast.


    Interestingly, paczki are not new news. They have been around for as long as Middle Ages, and their roots take back even to the Roman times. Their recipe was supposedly improved thanks to the French pastry chefs who came to Poland, and these are the donuts eaten on the last Thursday before lent we know now.

    As already mentioned, Fat Thursday is celebrated widely in Polish communities around the world and in the United States. Some areas even create pączki-eating contests!

    But were to buy pączki? Although you can buy traditional Polish food pączki from Polish shops across the United States, if you find it more convenient, you can celebrate the day by getting any type of donut that you come across. Also, you can decide to make the day more special and make your own!

    Check out this video by our friend Pawel!


    2 Responses

    Larry P Donaleski
    Larry P Donaleski

    September 18, 2021

    wish i could buy one of each….fantastic t’s !!

    Larry D


    September 01, 2021

    Can I fry these paczki?

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