By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you’re celebrating Fat Tuesday in Baltimore, there’s no better way than with a Polish donut.  It’s a tradition that happens just before Lent.

Ron Matz has more on the deep-fried confection that’s a little taste of heaven.

They’re buying Polish donuts by the box at Polish Treasures.  Like Mardi Gras, it’s a Fat Tuesday tradition.

“This is a wonderful day because we get to show the people of Baltimore exactly what a traditional paczki is and what it tastes like.  You’ve never had a donut until you’ve had a paczki. They’re absolutely fabulous. The recipe we have is from my family in Poland,” said Marianna Frederick, owner of Polish Treasures on South Chester Street.

“I bought three dozen today.  One dozen goes to my aunt and two dozen go to work. My grandmother used to make paczki for St. Casimir in Highlandtown, so I grew up with them.  My mom grew up with them, so now I come here on Paczki Tuesday and get them every year,” said Andrea Scheidt, customer from Crofton.

The tasty treats are hand-rolled, fried, sugar-glazed and filled.

“We fill our paczkis with fruit. We have raspberry, strawberry, apple and raisin. We also do an American version that’s cream-filled.  They’re 80 cents each, the best deal in Baltimore,” said Frederick. “Because they’re all made fresh, we started yesterday morning around 7 o’clock putting our ingredients together. In the afternoon we started to hand roll the paczkis and fry them.  After they cool a little, we glaze them with a sugar glaze.  Then, after they cool completely, we fill them with the fruit fillings. It’s a long day for us, but it’s well worth it.”

They’ll try a lot of them in Poland.

“When people have lard, eggs and sugar and fruit, they want to use up everything before Lent.  That’s how it all started. The paczkis are very, very popular,” said Krystyna Osowski from White Marsh. “In Poland, they eat so many paczkis today.  They eat six or seven apiece, maybe more. Everybody has to have one.”

Polish Treasures estimates they will sell more than 125 dozen paczkis before they close at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Comments (5)
  1. Bernadette Karczeski Jehnert says:

    I remember these wonderful traditions as a child growing up in a Polish family in East Baltimore. I so loved and miss these wonderful times and traditions!!

  2. Gigi Guzman says:

    I went to Polis Treasures today!!! celebrated Fat Tuesday here in Baltimore…

  3. Trisha says:

    I was just thinking the same thing as Bernadette. Brings a tear to my eye thinking of it. I remember making these as a lil girl with my grandmother and great aunt. Wish I would have learned all these wonderful Polish recipes my family used to make so I could pass them onto my daughter.

  4. Pat Prichard says:

    The best paczki were made by Barbara Mikulski’s uncles years ago when they owned a local bakery. They were not filled , they were a donut with raisins in them and were covered with powdered sugar

  5. jack urbaniak says:

    i love paczki look forward to them at this time of year, i buy mine in essex at gersbecks . i bought a dozen home tonight the plain ones with raisins. when i was young growing up in caton herchowski’s bakery had them, my parents and i liked them when they got to be a couple days old they were great then for dunking them in coffee, umm good!
    jack urbaniak

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