Paczki, Sweet Treats for Fat Tuesday

    28 February, 2017

    This is What's Trending Today.

    For Christians around the world, Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. It is the first day of a six-week religious observance before the Easter holiday.

    Lent is a time of sacrifice. Many Christians stop eating meat and give up sugar and alcoholic drinks.

    But before Lent begins, people get one last chance to enjoy themselves. Some attend celebrations on the Tuesday before Lent, also known as Fat Tuesday.

    In some cultures, people celebrate Fat Tuesday by eating a sweet bread treat called paczki. Paczki are from Poland and similar to doughnuts.

    In parts of the United States with large Polish communities, Fat Tuesday is also known as Paczki Day.

    A little girl indulges in Poland's tradition of eating jam-filled doughnuts, or Paczki, in Warsaw, Poland, Feb. 27, 2014.
    A little girl indulges in Poland's tradition of eating jam-filled doughnuts, or Paczki, in Warsaw, Poland, Feb. 27, 2014.

    On Tuesday, the hashtag #PaczkiDay was trending on social media.

    Many people shared photographs of the sugary, round treats.

    Paczki are popular in northern U.S. cities like Detroit and Chicago, where many people have Polish roots.

    Traditionally, paczki are filled with sweet fruity jams made from plums and the fruits of the rose plant. But these days, people will put just about anything inside paczki.

    One Detroit newspaper reported that a hot dog stand will serve a "Coney Paczki." That is a piece of meat inside of sweet paczki instead of a traditional bun. One can add mustard, chili and even onions.

    One Twitter user wrote: "Those look yummy."

    But another more traditional Twitter user thought it was just not the right way to celebrate Fat Tuesday. He wrote: "An actual Cajun would never eat this." Many people with Cajun roots celebrate Fat Tuesday in Louisiana.

    Other people celebrated Paczki Day by bringing large boxes of the treats to their office.

    A Twitter user named Rebecca posted a photo of at least 20 paczki and asked "is there such a thing as too many #paczki?"

    Abdul El-Sayed was born in Michigan. But his family is from Egypt. He works as a doctor and politician in the Detroit area.

    He and his wife Sarah went looking for halal paczki. They found them at a food stand in one Detroit neighborhood.

    They made a video showing their paczki-eating experience.

    Others made videos showing how to make paczki and how to say their name correctly, too.

    And that's What's Trending Today.

    I'm Dan Friedell.

    Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

    Have you ever eaten paczki? How did they taste? Let us know in the comments section.


    Words in This Story

    doughnut – n. a piece of sweet fried dough that is often shaped like a ring

    jam – n. a sweet food made of fruit and sugar thickened by boiling

    bun – n. a small, round or long bread for one person to eat

    yummy – adj. very pleasing to the taste

    halal – adj. accepted by Muslim law as fit for eating