Metro Detroit is going off our diets today. Today is Paczki (pinch-key) day where we eat 600 calories at one sitting.
Paczki (punch-key) Day is the feast of plenty before the Lent begins. (during Lent many Christians give up something they love such as sweets, alcohol and red meat, until Easter) On this Fat Tuesday the traditional deep fried pastries (something like jelly doughnuts) are enjoyed throughout the world's Polish neighborhoods. But metro Detroit has adopted this holiday like Chicago and Boston have adopted St. Patrick's day. Every office in the metro Detroit area will have Paczki (punch-key) on some counter or lunch room. Sales reps will be delivering them to clients throughout the metro Detroit area.
Traditional paczki were typically filled with prune or rosehip jelly. But now they are jelly filled or custard filled. Some of the flavors are raspberry, apricot, cherry, lemon, strawberry, and of course plum. The idea of Paczki, besides providing a delicious treat, was to use up all of the lard, fats, sugar, dairy, and fruit in the household before Lenten season began. They are what I call a heavy donut. A couple of them even for good eaters will fill you up.
Paczki Day, also known as Fat Tuesday, is a long-standing Hamtramck tradition. Hamtramck is a suburb of Metro Detroit that is home to many Polish immigrants and families over the years. The former Pope John Paul II even made a visit to the Catholic and Polish city. Hamtramck occupies two square miles and has become a melting pot. The mayor says over 20 different languages are spoken there.
Metro Detroiters start lining up at 4 am in Hamtramck for these once a year creations. Because each paczki you eat typically has 300 to 450 calories and 22 to 27 grams of fat. That is why they call it fat Tuesday. It is one last chance to eat a "good treat" before giving it up for Lent. In order to burn off the paczki here is what you would have to do.
Activities for one hour
- Jogging (413 calories).
- Racquetball (413).
- Moving household items, boxes to an upstairs (531).
- Ice hockey (472)
- Lawn mowing (325)
- Scrubbing floors on hands and knees (325)
- High-impact aerobics (415)
One hour of exercise just for 2 minutes of pure confectionary delight.
Here is where to get your Paczki today
New Deluxe Polish Bakery, 11920 Conant (at Eldridge) (313)892-8165
New Martha Washington Bakery, 10335 Joseph Campau, (313)872-1988
New Palace Bakery, 9833 Joseph Campau, (313)875-1334
New Polka Bakery, 9834 Conant, (313)873-7959
Polish Deli and Bakery, 12015 Joseph Campau, (313)365-3731
Amadeus Cafe, Ann Arbor (734) 665-8761
Utica Heights Bakery, Utica
Heritage Bakery, 37458 5 Mile Rd, Livonia, MI 48154 (734) 464-1855
Looney Toon Bakery Farmington Rd & 96, Livonia
Hamtramck has started a festival that starts 3 days before paczki day. It is called the countdown to Paczki day. There is even a paczki eating contest. The proud 2005 winner downed a record 22 paczki in 15 minutes.
Enjoy Paczki day and remember :
"You don't have to be Polish to polish off a paczki."