In addition to today being Mardi Gras and Super Tuesday, it’s also paczki day! Paczki (pronounced POONCH-key) is a wonderfully decadent Polish version of the traditional bismark.

Paczki day comes from the Eastern European tradition of the family ridding itself of excess food on the day before Ash Wednesday, to better prepare itself for the fasting period of Lent. What it has evolved to is the creation of a fat-laden, fruit or custard-filled pastry that in essence resembles a bismark on steroids. Topped with a sugar or chocolate coating, these babies are the anti-food pyramid. I’m sure there’s a study out there — somewhere — that shows spikes in cholesterol and saturated fat levels in humans after just smelling one of these.

But … oh man … they are soooooo good!

I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see Paczki Day catch on in the Chicago area, but I’m not so sure this wonderful delight has caught on elsewhere in the nation. If not, boy, what you folks are missing! Let me just say that, if a woman is willing to bare her breasts for some beads on Mardi Gras, I can only imagine what she’s be willing to do for a paczki.

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