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Paczki Day In Chicago

Updated on October 24, 2020

Paczki Day In Chicago - Delicious Doughnuts For Fat Tuesday!

It's the most delicious day of the Spring in Chicago - Paczki Day! Never heard of packzkis? They're a delicious Polish doughnut primarily eaten on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent). Paczkis consist of deep fried dough in a circle shape, filled with jelly or sometimes cream, and topped with icing, glaze or powdered sugar. Yum!

Because of Chicago's sizable Polish and Polish-American population, Paczki Day in Chicago has become an annual tradition, with lines starting early outside of bakeries every Fat Tuesday, and Chicagoans of all ethnic and religious backgrounds chowing down on this delicious doughnut treat.

Chicago Television Reports on Paczki Day

Why Do We Have Paczki Only Once A Year?

First, because we'd be busting out of our clothes if we had these delicious but fattening treats more often!

The real answer -

Traditionally, Paczki were made as a way to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, before Catholics would start fasting practices of the Lenten season.

Looking For A Paczki Recipe? - Polish Holiday Cookery Has One For You!

Polish Holiday Cookery
Polish Holiday Cookery
Polish Holiday Cookery acquaints readers with traditional Polish foods associated with various occasions and furnishes countless cooking tips and serving suggestions. This "instruction manual for the culturally aware Polish American" offers more than 400 recipes, along with a lexicon of basic foods and culinary concepts, ingredients and procedures, and sample menus. The clearly-written recipes facilitate the preparation of the dishes and their incorporation in the Polish-American mainstream culture. Polish Holiday Cookery covers holidays such as Christmas and Easter, as well as celebrations year-round. Ideas for banquets, picnics, dinners, and family favorites abound throughout, ensuring that cooks have a selection of dishes for any occasion.

Are you ready for a Paczki?

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi I' m polish living in Scotland:). I love paczki and I would have them more often than just once a year. My auntie in Poland has got bakery and they sell them all year long but on Fat Thursday we eat only paczki.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      @gluten-free-nomad: Gluten-free-nomad .... that is exactly what I was searching for! Would you mind sending me the recipe?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Yes, I'd love to try a Paczki! Thanks for sharing.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 

      9 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      Thank you for an entertaining and personal take on paczki in Chicago :+)

    • dwnovacek profile image


      9 years ago

      O...M.. G.. I have fallen in love with your description of the Paczki. Must have one soon!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I've never heard of this obviously well-loved day of doughnuts. I wonder if Paczki Day could be celebrated, even vicariously, in Australia?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      just heard of these today on TV, but no one was quite sure how to pronounce paczki. Is it "pock chee"? Nice info--they sound yummy!

    • profile image

      navalava lm 

      9 years ago

      I am drooling overhere! :)

    • Lynne-Modranski profile image

      Lynne Modranski 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      paczki are popular in our area too! Very large Polish population worked in the coal mines here in eastern Ohio just one or two generations ago. My husband is only third generation American (and it looks like his grandfather was almost born on the boat on the way here!)

      Yummy treat indeed!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      oh yes Paczki.... YUMM YUMM!!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Holy Smokes! Yes, I am indeed ready for a Paczki! I'm part Polish too.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Paczki day in Chicago is the best! Check this Polish beer review and Paczki day post out:

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      10 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Chicago must have a large Polish population. I didn't know that. The paczki look delicious.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      10 years ago from Paso Robles, CA

      I have pretty much given up all donuts, and not just for lent. If I don't, I'm in for a lecture from my cardiologist.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      10 years ago from Vermont

      I am sooo ready for a paczki - they sound much tastier than fastnachts, the traditional Mardi Gras fried doughnut treat in eastern Pennsylvania. Let the good times roll (no pun in tended)!

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image

      Sara Duggan 

      10 years ago from California

      âLoved the photos on this lens. Hereâs a virtual string of Mardi Gras beads for you!â YUMMY - and I'm sure very delicious.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Sullivan 

      10 years ago from Chicago, IL

      @anonymous: Thanks for the blessing beth!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      A nice Easter tradition! Blessed by the "Easter recipe" SquidAngel!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      oh boy I would be in trouble if I could get my hands on these in Australia - YUM!!!

    • Dee Gallemore profile image

      Dee Gallemore 

      10 years ago

      Would definitely love to try one of these!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I am always ready for doughnuts and ANYTHING Polish -- bring it on!

    • JenOfChicago LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Sullivan 

      11 years ago from Chicago, IL

      @Lee Hansen: Wow, how interesting how you find similar food traditions in different areas, probably brought from immigrants as they fanned out across the country, I'd guess - that's America for you!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      11 years ago from Vermont

      In eastern PA around Reading and Pottsville, they make and devour a similar donut called a "fastnaught" - Fastnaught Day is on Fat Tuesday and wildly popular. No filling, just the fried dough ball made from potato batter drizzled with sweet syrup or powdered sugar. I think I like the packzi recipe more! Blessed by a Squid Angel foodie...

    • LadyFlashman profile image


      11 years ago from United Kingdom

      After reading this, I am salivating for a Paczki! They look and sound delicious, I have never heard of them before - what a fantastic tradition!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Boy these look good, too bad they aren't gluten free. I did find some traditional gluten free desserts in the Polish Holiday Cookbook, though. Thanks for the recommendation... And for the lens! 5*

    • justholidays profile image


      11 years ago

      I've learnt something new today :) Thanks for this!


    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      11 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for the introduction to Packzki Day.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      11 years ago from Arkansas USA

      More than ready! Wow, they look great! I doubt anyone here in the mid South has heard of them. Too bad for me! (Or maybe a good thing!)

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 

      11 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      Interesting. I have never heard of these before.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      11 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I saw these in the store before Fat Tuesday! Look yummy but very fattening!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Very interesting lens!


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