It’s almost Pączki Day! For people who don’t know, pączki (which is pronounced “PUNCH-key,” and is plural) are Polish doughnuts that are sort of like jelly doughnuts, but richer, heavier … better. They’re a pre-Lent tradition, so they’re really only available one time a year — now. And tomorrow, Peter Pan bakery in Greenpoint will be making some.
In Poland, Pączki Day, or Fat Thursday, was the last chance to indulge before Lent. So people made pączki to use up all the sweet, fatty, and indulgent ingredients that were banned during Lent (Read: It’s how the Poles geared up for bikini season). Displaced Michiganders can tell you that pączki are pretty big in the Midwest, where Pączki Day is celebrated on Fat Tuesday.
And why is Peter Pan making them? “We tried the pączki that were sold in the neighborhood and they were terrible,” explained Donna Siafakas, who owns the bakery with her husband, Christos. “They were all premade wholesale. We wanted to make them ourselves with fresh ingredients.” Although Donna and Christos aren’t Polish, they thought the neighborhood deserved quality pączki on their holiday of excess.
So if you want to try the ephemeral pastry, tomorrow’s your chance. They cost $1 to $1.25, depending on the topping and the filling (custard is the way to go), so go get one. Hell, get a dozen.