paczki, fat tuesday
Paczki are a popular Fat Tuesday treat in the northern and Midwestern regions of the U.S..

Fat Tuesday is also Paczki Day for thousands of retail bakeries across the country, especially those located in the north and Midwest. And yet paczki are available year round at New Martha Washington Bakery, a popular retail bakery in Detroit, and the bakery features a huge variety of flavors including prune.

Paczki are donut-like pastries with a sweet filling. It is customary for people to indulge on Fat Tuesday because during the Catholic Lenten season, lard, sugar and eggs are forbidden. Retailers like Milan Bakery in Milan, Michigan, will sell up to 10,000 paczki during February, according to owner LeeAnn Martin.

A year ago, Creative Cakes in Tinley Park, Illinois, introduced new “Extreme Paczki,” available through February 17. “Sometimes, you gotta go a little crazy, and we think paczki are the perfect vehicle for that,” the company touted. Flavors included creative twists such as Mississippi Mud (filled with chocolate custard and topped with chocolate icing, pecans, and coconut) and the Atomic (filled with half fresh strawberries and half fresh bananas in custard, and topped with chocolate icing). Their Maple Bacon Mayhem paczki is filled with maple custard, iced with maple glaze, and topped with crumbled bacon.