This Tuesday is "Fat Tuesday" – the day before Ash Wednesday – but in Milwaukee, it’s better known as "Paczki Day."
The original purpose of the day was for people to use up their butter, eggs and other rich foods before the Lenten fast, but for many of us, it’s just an excuse to eat delicious jelly and cream filled doughnuts.
Paczki – pronounced "poonchky" – are fried doughnuts that are topped with icing or powdered sugar and filled with Bavarian cream, raspberry jam, prunes and more.
There are many Milwaukee bakeries that will start selling paczki in the wee morning hours on Tuesday, but OnMilwaukee.com couldn’t wait that long and stopped in early at six local bakeries.
1100 E. Oklahoma Ave, (414) 486-7747
The recently remodeled Canfora Bakery is serving paczki from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $1.10 each. Flavors include raspberry, custard, prune, raisin lemon and apple.
"We make them the old fashioned way," says owner Rosa Canfora.
Cranky Al’s Bakery & Pizza
6901 W. North Ave., (414) 258-5282
Cranky Al’s will offer paczki from 6 a.m. to noon for $1.95 each. Fillings include butter cream, raspberry and more. "You know, the usual," says a Cranky Al’s employee.
3200 S. 16th St., (414) 672-1620
National Bakery will sell about 40,000 paczki this Tuesday starting at 6 a.m. National has 10 different kinds and sells the Polish doughnuts for 99 cents each or $11.80 for a dozen. Last year, they ran out at 3 p.m. and had lines out the door most of the day.
6055 S. Howell Ave., (414) 483-9003
At 75 cents each, paczki from Papas might be the lowest-priced in the city. Papas is open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and offers raspberry, prune, lemon and butter cream fillings.
Pick ’N Save
Paczki at Pick ’N Save are sold in packs of six for $4.50 or $4 with a Roundy’s card. They are available in butter cream, raspberry, custard, vanilla and chocolate.
Whole Foods Market
2305 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 223-1500
Whole Foods opens at 8 a.m. and will have paczki for $1.99 each in a variety of flavors.
Regardless of where you choose to get your paczki this year, just remember this is not the time for moderation – quite the opposite – so make sure you get your fill. As Barbie says, "Have a very Paczki Day this Tuesday!"
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.