It’s Paczki Time!
I’d never heard of paczki (pronounced “pownch-ki”) until we moved to Western Massachusetts. Then, I began to see them advertised in the grocery store circulars every winter. “Paczki Are Here!” The flyers would proclaim – just above a photo of something that looked like an ordinary jelly donut.
But they aren’t ordinary jelly donuts. At least that’s what I’m told. They’re Polish pastries that date back to the Middle Ages. The dough was supposedly invented to help use up lard, sugar, and eggs in the week leading up to Lent. Which explains why paczki are not available year round. For us, they appear in late January and then vanish in early March.
I ignored the paczki for years.
But this year, something changed. This year, as I was pushing my cart through the bakery section, something inside of me snapped. Stacks of boxed paczki were everywhere, and in the big glass case – the tempting one with the cakes and croissants and cookies – were plate upon plate of paczki – chocolate covered paczki and sugar dusted, glazed and filled. Lemon and strawberry, bavarian cream, apple and raspberry prune….
Yes. Raspberry prune.
And, suddenly, I had to try one. I had to have a paczki of my very own. (But not a raspberry prune one.)
So, which flavor did I choose? That’s easy. Lemon. I love lemon-filled donuts, and you can’t always find them, so that made my choice a snap.
And how did it taste?
Like a jelly donut. Like a very fresh, very well made jelly donut.
From the dining room table, having just realized it’s snowing,