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Fat Thursday- the sweetest day in Poland

Fat Thursday- the sweetest day in Poland

Fat Thursday or the Pączki Day is the only day in Poland where you are expected to devour pączki, faworki, and other sweet pastries with guiltless impunity. According to the long-lasting tradition to ensure happiness and prosperity throughout the year - everyone should eat at least one pączek. On Fat Thursday, long queues line up in front of the pastry shops in the whole country to buy the freshly made donuts. The wait time at some of the most iconic pastry shops can even take hours. This year Fat Thursday falls on February 16th, and calories do not matter.

The traditional and most popular Polish pączek is round, fluffy, made of yeast dough, and deep-fried. It is filled with delicious plum, raspberry, strawberry marmalade, or - rose jam. The pączek is sprinkled with a dash of powder sugar or orange peel topped frosting.

How did Fat Thursday come about?

Fat Thursday begins the last week of Carnival - called Shrovetide and is the last Thursday before Lent, which lasts until Easter. It was a period of intense festivities and lavish feasts. Celebrations, as well as the donuts themselves, date as far as ancient Rome. Back then, Fat Thursday was known as a “fat day” and hailed the arrival of spring and winter's departure. On that day, the Romans consumed vast quantities of rich and greasy dishes, especially meat, and snacked on bacon stuffed bread donuts.

In Polish cuisine, donuts were originally also savory and salty, but at the end of the 16th century, they acquired their present sweet appearance and taste.    

On Fat Thursday, the pączek is the king; however, another popular staple are the “faworki,” also called brushwood. These are sweet, flaky bows deep-fried, which -like pączki - are just as hard to resist. But on this day, who counts calories? Enjoy! Smacznego!

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