Chicago’s Polish-American community celebrates Paczki Day today. Paczki (pronunciation varies a bit, but my kin say poonch-key) are basically jelly donuts. Bakeries claim the dough is special for paczki, but I have been unable to detect a difference. The important thing is that Paczki Day gives you permission to come home with an entire box full of jelly donuts. Which is, of course, how you celebrate Paczki Day, by eating as many donuts as you can get your hands on.
In anticipation of this most sacred day, Bryan, my mom, and I went to “the old neighborhood” to pick up our paczki from Weber’s Bakery (you never make paczki at home). Weber’s has been serving Chicago for decades and is particularly popular with south-side Poles. My family has been shopping there since before I was born. The week leading up to fat Tuesday is always mayhem at Weber’s (both parking lots were full!), but that is part of the fun. I counted 17 sales women behind the counter!
Happy Paczki Day everyone! I hope you are celebrating, wherever you are.