Paczki Day, Polish Food & Mythology In The Enchanted Bay Mystery Series

by Esme Addison

One of my favorite cozy mystery bloggers is Cozy Up With Kathy. She’s Polish-American and celebrates several Polish holidays. So of course we’re going to celebrate Pączki or Paczki day by discussing all of the great food in my series, the history of Packzi day and much more!

Pączki in Poland

In Poland, pączki are eaten on Fat Thursday or Tłusty Czwartek, also known as Pączki Day.

Fat Thursday used to mark the beginning of Fat Week –- the period of gluttony during which Poles would eat smalec (a kind of seasoned lard spread on bread) and bacon washed down with vodka. Nowadays, Fat Thursday is associated with pączki.

Speaking of smalec… On my last trip to Poland, after visiting the lovely Białowieski National Park we had lunch at a beautifully rustic restaurant called Karczma Osocznika in Białowieża.

Karczma Osocznika, Białowieża, Poland

And I tried smalec. (This is before I became a vegetarian. I was actually keto on this trip and had so much kielbasa and homemade pickles (low carb!) I was tired of eating meat when I returned.

Dinner in Białowieża, courtesy of Esme Addison

An old Polish proverb states, “If you don’t eat at least one doughnut on Shrove Thursday, you will no longer be successful in life.” Who has found this to be true? This is like the African-American tradition of eating collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Eat this meal and you’ll assure good luck for the rest of the year. Anyway…

Gone are the days when the window of opportunity for savoring pączki was just one day on Fat Tuesday. Now, most bakeries in the United States and Poland offer these delicious donut-like cakes year round – and thank goodness. Because they are so good.

A bakery in Warsaw. So many paczki! courtesy of Esme Addison

You can watch the video below. If you celebrate Paczki day, what do you and your family do? Tell me in comments on Youtube.

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