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A girl eats a traditional Polish paczki donut as customers queue in front of a pastry shop on Fat Thursday. - 


Scott Jagow: It's not only Super Tuesday, it's Fat Tuesday.
And I just learned this morning about a Fat Tuesday tradition that comes from Eastern Europe:
Paczki. It's spelled P-a-c-z-k-i. Our show's producer has a Polish background, and she was telling me that on Fat Tuesday, Polish bakeries rake in the dough selling these doughy treats.

So, we called up the Martha Washington bakery in Hamtramck, Michigan. Sandy Bakic is working there. Sandy, I'm new to this. What exactly are paczki?

Sandy Bakic: It's a scrumptuous fried pastry that is yeast-raised and filled with a variety of fillings.

Jagow: Like what?

Bakic: Well, like original were raspberry and prune, but then as humans evolve, we've got raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, apple, we've got the bavarian creme, chocolate bavarian, butter cream, plain, sugared, you name it.

Jagow: It sounds pretty good!

Bakic: It is.

Jagow: And what's it like at your store today?

Bakic: Oh, it's out the door.

Jagow: The line's out the door. And this is an Eastern European tradition?

Bakic: Yes, it is. The tradition was, well, when lent started, you can't eat fats. So in order to use up the fats in the house, because it's not gonna last ni the summer time, I guess grandmas created these wonderful, scrumptuous pastries.

Jagow: Hmmm. Sandy, I'll let you get back to work, but thank you so much for joining us.

Bakic: Thank you, have a wonderful day.

Jagow: Sandy Bakic at the Martha Washington bakery in Hamtramck, Michigan