Fat Thursday is a traditional Polish
feast marking the last Thursday before Lent. It is similar to, but
be confused with, the French festival of Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday").
Traditionally it is a day of gluttony and
belly-worship, when people meet in their homes or cafes with their
friends and relatives and eat large quantities
of sweets, cakes, and all other meals forbidden during Lent. Among
the most popular all-national dishes
served on that day are paczki.
Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is
the day before Ash Wednesday, and is also called "Shrove
Tuesday." It is the final day of Carnival. It is a celebration that is
held just before the beginning of the
Christian liturgical season of Lent in order to prepare for the coming
Our beautiful and tasty treat is created with a sweet Danish dough
layered with either cinnamon or Strawberry
Cheese, which is then braided into an oval. It is topped with icing and
finished with purple, gold, and green sugar.
It is packaged in a handsome window box and includes beads, coins, and a
The King Cake has been associated with the Mardi Gras season for many
years. The season begins on January sixth,
known as the Epiphany, the day the three Wise Men of the East: Caspar,
Melchior, and Balthazar, found the baby Jesus.
The King Cake reminds us of this day by its shape, color and decoration.
Its oval shape represents unity of all Christians.
The colors purple, gold, and green stand for justice, power, and faith
small baby doll, bean, or coin is hidden
in the cake
to symbolize the finding of the baby Jesus. Whoever finds this symbol in
their slice of cake traditionally buys
cake for the next celebration. The season ends with either Fat Thursday
or Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), the day
before Ash Wednesday. This day traditionally is known as Paczki Day. Paczki Day
was the day in which to use up all of
the ingredients that would spoil during the fasting associated with the
* Because the baby is a choking hazard, we do not
insert it in the King Cake, we put it under the king cake.
We recommend removing the baby and coins before cutting and serving.*
similar to a bismark, but are made with richer, heavier dough that takes
longer to fry. They are
shaped into a flattened ball, deep-fried to a golden brown, filled with
a variety of fillings, and then usually
covered with powdered sugar. Traditionally, paczki were made in order to
use up all the lard, sugar, and fruit
in the house before Lent. Our Paczki are made with vegetable
shortening and fried in vegetable shortening.