HAMTRAMCK (WWJ) – It’s an unofficial holiday for many in the metro Detroit area: Fat Tuesday, also known as Paczki Day.
A Polish-American tradition, several celebrate on Fat Tuesday — the day before Lent begins — by gorging on paczki, which are calorie-laden, deep-fried pastries filled with the most delicious creams, custards and jellies.
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 were 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, Americans rush out to get the tastiest paczki they can find. Ask any metro Detroiter and they’ll tell you, the best place to go for pazcki is Hamtramck.
The line was wrapped around the building at New Martha Washington Bakery, which makes 17 flavors of paczki, with people like Tim Brown, who has been coming to Hamtramck on Paczki Day for the last 32 years. He said it’s like a religious experience.
“The paczki gods are shining down upon us,” Brown told WWJ’s Charlie Langton before breaking out in song. “The lines are at the bakery! Bingo’s such an easy game to play, but my cards and chips are put away because I believe in Paczki Day.”
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If you really want paczki but don’t want to make the trip to Hamtramck, just call Uber. The ridesharing service will deliver a dozen of the tasty treats from West Warren Bakery in Detroit to your door for $25. Using the Uber smartphone app, just request the “PACZKI” option.