MARQUETTE — Tomorrow is a day where millions of Americans put away their pride and fill their hands with pączki. Fat Tuesday is almost here. The U.P. certainly partakes in this tasty tradition.
Just about 14,000 pączki will be made this year at Huron Mountain Bakery in Marquette. The large amount of work needed to fill the high demand has already begun.
“We try to do it in a 24–hour period as much as possible,” said Huron Mountain Bakery Production Manager Rachel Freeman, “so we started at about 3:30 this morning, mixing the pączki dough, then they started forming them into little balls, then they get put on to the screens and eventually we start frying about 7 o’clock this morning. After that they start sugaring and filling until we are done.”
The Polish tradition was originated from using up all of the leftover fat, sugar, and butter before the spring. It was placed on Fat Tuesday, which is before the Christian observance of Lent, which traditionally includes 40 days of fasting.
“It’s incredible really. We’re all the way in the U.P. and we can still make thousands of pączki and still sell them all. We’re not near Detroit and Hamtramck, where Hamtramck is like the pączki capital. But all the way in the U.P. we can still pull this off. It’s amazing.”
Freeman added that it is extremely important to place your orders ahead of time if possible to make sure that all of your pączek needs are met.