Paczki Day is Feb. 21


Paczki Day (pronounced pawnch kee), also known as Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras or the day before Ash Wednesday, is Feb. 21. And while the day was originally the Polish Catholics’ way of getting rid of all the sugar, fat and other goodies in the house before the beginning of Lent, the popularity of paczki  –deep-fried, custard-filled sweets that mark Fat Tuesday each year — is not limited to Catholics or Polish people.

The sugary, doughnut-like confections are not low-cal by any means, but who’s counting calories on Fat Tuesday? Here’s a rundown on some Metro Detroit places to get your paczki this year.

New Palace Bakery, 9833 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck: New Palace has traditional paczki for $1.50 a piece or $14.95 a dozen. Flavors include custard, lemon, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and apple. Call (313) 875-1334 to place an order or for more information.

Small’s Bar, 10339 Conant, Hamtramck, www.smallsbardetroit.com: Adults can enjoy Paczki Day at Small’s, where there’s no cover all day, live entertainment from The Polka Floyd starting at 6 p.m. and free mini paczki filled with flavored vodkas (while they last). Call (313) 873-1117 for more information.

Iversen’s, 22041 Outer Drive or 22441 Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, www.iversenbakery.com: Two Iversen’s locations serve up paczki for $1.50 a piece, $7.50 for half dozen and $13 for a dozen. Flavors include custard, lemon, raspberry and prune. Call (313) 563-5161 to place an order or for more information.

Sunflour Bakehaus, 33250 Grand River Avenue, Farmington, www.sunflourbakehaus.com: Sunflour Bakehaus opens at 6 a.m., and paczki are usually gone by noon, owner Jeff Pavlik says. Prices are $1.25 for one or $13 for a dozen, and flavors include blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, apple, lemon and custard. Call (248) 442-2360 to place an order or for more information.

Knapp’s Donuts, 500 N. Main Street, Rochester, www.knappsdonuts.com: This bakery opens at 3:30 a.m. for early birds. Paczki flavors include apple, apple/raspberry, blueberry, custard, cherry, lemon, raspberry and strawberry. Prices are $1.40 for one, $7.75 for half a dozen and $13.99 for a dozen. Call (248) 652-4343 to place an order or for more information.

The Polish Market, 48902 Hayes Road, Macomb, www.thepolishmarketinc.com: The Polish Market has one of the best values around for paczki. They’re just 99 cents each, or $9.99 for a dozen. Flavors include the usual suspects – apple, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry – plus an usual one – apricot. Call (586) 532-9077 to place an order or for more information.

Peteet’s Cheesecakes, 13835 Nine Mile Road, Oak Park, www.peteetscheesecakes.com: This cheesecake bakery is offering its own twist on the paczki – paczki that are filled with custard and cheesecake. Flavors include lemon, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, apple and custard. Prices are $1.65 for one, $7.50 for six or $14 for a dozen. Order ahead of time by calling (248) 545-2253.

Want to make your own paczki? Find recipes at http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1918,151170-232196,00.html or http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/desserts/r/Paczki.htm.

Happy Paczki Day!