Pączki Day Recipes, History, and the Dreaded Calorie Count
A pączek is a traditional Polish doughnut traditionally eaten on Fat Thursday, the Thursday which falls before Lent.
Pączki are deep-fried and shaped like a sphere, often filled with a sweet filling and topped with icing sugar or orange zest. They are made with lard, sugar, eggs and fruit - therefore people celebrate Pączki Day prior to lent to fill up on all these ingredients before their fast begins.
In North America, Pączki Day is celebrated more often on Fat Tuesday, which falls before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
Lent is a 40-day period of fasting and prayer before the Christian Easter holiday, and represents the time Jesus spent in the desert. The consumption of numerous food items are forbidden during abstinence days throughout Lent:
The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial—for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
See here for traditional pączki recipes. Wondering how many calories one of those delicious little doughnuts has? Count on about 420 calories per 5 ounce pączek (and 25 grams of fat), and up to 700 calories if there is a filling. Good thing you're going on that fast!