Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I’ve already been warned about the Polish version of Fat Tuesday! Locally known as Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday), this day allows you to stuff your face with as many Polish doughnuts as you can before the fasting season of Lent begins.

Instead of parading and partying like other Catholic-observant countries do for Mardis Gras or Fat Tuesday, the Poles will queue up in long, long lines to purchase pastries from the local cukiernia (bakery). The most popular Polish pastry, particularly on Fat Thursday, are pączki – large, deep-fried doughnuts. These sugary doughnuts are typically filled with rose petal jam (or other marmalades), glazed with sugar, and then sometimes topped with candied orange peel. The pączki are very similar to our American jelly-filled doughnuts in the U.S.
You'll find a variety of the Polish doughnuts around the city!

Fat Thursday is tomorrow (February 27th), but I’ve already seen advertisements for pączki since last week here in Warsaw! I guess I’d be stocking up on sweets too if I knew I couldn’t eat them either for 40 days during Lent!
My Polish friends have warned me that many offices even have pączki eating contests – to see who can eat the most! My husband isn’t sure what to expect at his office.

According to my daily email from Warsaw Foodie, 75 percent of Poles will eat at least 3 doughnuts and 33 percent will eat as many as 5 pieces tomorrow! Now, that’s a lot of doughnuts!

One of the most popular and traditional places where Poles purchase these donuts are A. Blikle cafes, located throughout Warsaw. This year, Blikle will offer two new modern-day fillings – orange-ginger or cherry-chili. I’m honestly surprised about the chili flavor because rarely do I find anything spicy here unless I go out to a Thai restaurant.

Another Fat Thursday favorite in Poland are faworki. Nicknamed “Angel’s Wings, these thin, crispy ribbons of pastry dough are fried, and then sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Luckily, I’ll be learning how to make faworki at a baking class at CookUp tonight!
Crispy piles of sweet Polish faworki at A. Blikle Cafe in Warsaw.
Since this will be our first Lent and Easter season in Poland, I’m curious to see what will happen on Fat Thursday. I plan to take my camera around to some of the popular cukiernia I know in Centrum and see what the fuss is all about!

Don’t miss out on this Polish holiday! Follow along tomorrow’s pączki madness via my Instagram feed or Facebook Page.


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Donia said...

Fat Thursday is probably my favourite holiday in Poland :) And I'm really going to eat loads of pączki, around 8-10 I guess (this is the only time I enjoy them so much). Joy, have a great day tomorrow and celebrate Fat Thursday as if it was the last time you can eat pączki in life! :)

BacktoBodrum said...

How strange it is Thursday instead of Tuesday - I suppose a doughnut is just a puffed up pancake.

Joy said...

@Donia, ENJOY! Sounds like one holiday that I can fully support! :-)

@Annie, I'm not sure. The tradition dates back to the 17th century. I couldn't find out exactly why it's on Thursday instead of Tuesday in Poland. But it it a delicious holiday!

Alex, Speaking Denglish said...

I am all for this donut day - I'd definitely be on the 5 donut end of things. Go big or go home ;) Have fun!

Carrie Zimmer said...

I found your blog on one of the expat sites. Thanks for all your great posts about the places you have lived and visited. I was in Turkey last week and used some of your recommendations and also sent some of your posts to a friend who was traveling in Poland last week.


Unknown said...

I just moved to Warsaw from NYC. Couldn't stop reading your blog!

Joy said...

@Carrie, Thanks for taking the time to write back! I love hearing that I was able to help out somehow. :-) Hope you enjoyed eating around Turkey!

@Zuzanna, Witamy to Warsaw! If you need any help adjusting to life here, let me know. The gray days can be a bit overwhelming at times! Happy to meet for a cup of coffee or beer someday!

Unknown said...

I am SO excited that we found your blog. My family will be traveling to Poland next month. I love to read about your experiences. We enjoyed some pączki from a local store but I'm sure fresh ones are even better. I am looking forward to the culture and cuisine!

Joy said...

@Kim, happy to help! Will you be traveling all over Poland? There's really a lot to see in this country, and I'm finding out that Poland really needs to do a better job of promoting itself. We've really enjoyed our trips to Gdansk, Sopot, Malbork Castle, Krakow, Kazimierz Dolny and the Kampinos Forest.

If you have any questions, I'm happy to try and assist some more.