But with the sober reckoning of Lent ahead for Catholics, and the lean days of early spring and studying for finals and mounting pressure to eat fewer carbs and sugar, many believe on Fat Tuesday it’s ok just to unleash yourself and have a jelly donut or two or four. Paczki are the heavier, often lard-fried, often prune-filled, Polish version, eaten on this here day in Polish-American communities across the country.
Go wild. There’s a reason this day is traditionally associated with carnival, and it is not merely the idea that folks needed to rid their pantries of fats and sweets before Lenten fasting. Although/because our national ideology urges us to be deeply ambivalent about public shows of dark indulgence, and the threat of falling into decadent decline (see above) hangs over all our excesses, a day of carnival allows us a safe, delimited space in which to explore the possibilities of letting everything go. Eat a donut, think about repression. That’s my motto.
If you’re in Eugene, Holy Donuts! has made limited amounts of paczki for the holiday. That’s theirs above from a few years ago. They’ll be available in limited quantities at Perk Coffee on Willamette and 13th. While you’re there, treat yourself to a cup of locally fire-roasted coffee from Caffé Pacori, the best coffee you’ll ever have.
Seattle? Getcher paczki here. Don’t know about Portland. Let me know if you do.
Happy Paczki Day!
And for those of you interested in the continuing Paczki Day coverage by this pączek: