Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pączki Day in Milwaukee

Well, it was yesterday. I planned to get up early, drive to National Bakery before work and partake in a Milwaukee tradition, Pączki Day. That didn't happen and I didn't realize the bakery closed at 6pm. So what are these things? What exactly did I miss? Pączki (pronounced POONch-ki) is plural for pączek, a polish deep fried and fruity jelly filled doughnut that's either glazed or tossed in powdered sugar. Its texture is a little similar to a Krispy Kreme. Traditionally, they are eaten on Fat Tuesday, a day of indulgence or a day to rid your kitchen of everything fattening, before Lenten fasting begins. New Orleans has parades and hurricanes and Milwaukee has fried doughnuts topped with more fried doughnuts. Milwaukee has a rich Polish culture, as well as Chicago and Detroit so pączki day is pretty big in these other cities, too. These babies are easy found in most supermarkets and corner bakeries, but they do sell out, so call in your larger order a week ahead of time. If any of you had one, tell me how it was. Writing this post just made me want one even more.

Here's a rundown of Milwaukee area bakeries that are brimming with pączki every year. I'll plan ahead better next year.

- National Bakery: 3200 S. 16th St. (414) 672-1620 (plus 2 suburb locations)
- Grebe's Bakery: 5132 West Lincoln Avenue (414) 543-7000
- A&J Polish Deli: 1215 W Lincoln Ave (414) 643-7733
- Polish Center of Wisconsin: 6941 S. 68th St., Franklin (414) 529-2140
- Old World Deli: 7630 W Grange Ave, Greendale (414) 855-0470

photos: 1., 2., 3.



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