HAMTRAMCK (WWJ) – Paczki pandemonium is well under way across metro Detroit as hundreds brave the bone-chilling temperatures to celebrate Fat Tuesday.
Most are headed to Hamtramck to pick up the most delicious paczki — calorie-laden, deep-fried pastries filled with the most delicious creams, custards and jellies.
The line of people was wrapped around the building by 6 a.m. at Martha Washington Bakery, which offers 17 flavors of paczki.
Tim Brown, who is on his 31st year of picking up the tasty treats in Hamtramck, said Fat Tuesday is one day he looks forward to all year. He was so excited, he burst into song.
“It’s Paczki Day. All the tourists come Hamtramck’s way and Tim adds 10 pounds to what he weighs, so I believe in Paczki Day,” he sang.
Liza Metts, of Lincoln Park, woke up bright and early to pick up three dozen paczki. But she has an idea that might change the whole Fat Tuesday game.
“They should have bourbon! Hooch it up, that would be the only way to make some Fat Tuesday better,” Metts told WWJ’s Charlie Langton. “Hooch it up!”
Over at New Palace Bakery, the wait time for a dozen paczki was over an hour. But that’s not stopping people like Audrey, of Warren.
“I’ve come every year for the last 20 years. Why? Because they’re awesome,” she said.
So, what’s the deal with Fat Tuesday?
Traditionally, the reason for making paczki (pronounced “pooonch-key”) was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because the ingredients are forbidden to be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent, according to Michigan.org. The tradition has evolved over the years and now, come Fat Tuesday, metro Detroiters rush out to get the tastiest paczki they can find.