Just a friendly reminder, Paczki season is fast approaching. The Polish celebration of Fat Tuesday, which is February 21st, is the last chance to indulge before the fasting days of Lent. As tradition goes, that means Paczki time, especially in Michigan, but what exactly is Paczki?

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The Polish tradition of indulging in fried dough filled with jams, custards, or other sweet surprises dates back to the Middle Ages. In those days, Lent meant that meat and meat by-products, like butter and eggs, couldn't be eaten during that time. Inventive cooks in Poland used up all their dairy and eggs during the week prior and made crepe-like pancakes and doughnuts called paczki (POHNCH-kee). Because of its roots in Poland, and North American communities particularly in the large Polish communities of Chicago, Detroit, and other large cities across the Midwest and Northeast, Paczki Day is a staple celebration.

Exactly How Many Calories Are in a Paczki?

Those little Polish jelly donuts that delight us so much aren't exactly fat-free. Each can pack 300-500 calories and 25g of fat into a sugar-coated yummy hockey puck. With delicious flavors such as apricot, raspberry, prune, and custard and gourmet fillings like fresh strawberries and whipped cream, it's hard not to indulge. My personal favorite is any jelly-filled Paczki, which is going to give me 330 calories and a whopping 48 carbs. Yikes.

If you want to get your Paczki fix in a glass, we've got you covered. Detroit City Distillery will once again be selling Paczki Day Vodka this month for an interesting twist to the Fat Tuesday tradition. This year's batch will be made from raspberry Paczki from New Palace Bakery in Hamtramck and potato vodka from Michigan and Poland. Bottles go on sale Friday, February 3 at 8:00 AM at Detroit City Distillery.

Many local favorite bakeries are already taking orders for Fat Tuesday, such as Donna's Donuts on Bristol Road, and Crust in Fenton. You may want to consider ordering ahead to be sure to get all your favorite flavors for that big binge on February 21st.

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