ISHPEMING — Fat Tuesday often signifies parties, but for many in the Upper Peninsula, it also means pastries.
Pączkis are traditional Polish pastries. The Huron Mountain Bakery in Ishpeming has been selling the Fat Tuesday treat for about 15 years. The 1,000 calorie confections are crafted at the Marquette location, where 40 employees work in shifts over a 24 hour period to meet demand. The sought-after sweets are then shipped to Ishpeming in droves.
“A lot goes into them. We prepare for this — it is 24 hours — we make about 15,000 of them. Our store has 6,000 today,” said Lillie Moore, manager of the Ishpeming store. “There’s extra milk, butter, sugar, eggs. We do three times more filling than we would do on a normal day.”
Pączkis filled display cases in place of the usual items like doughnuts. Many customers called ahead to order boxes full of the goodies, and the morning saw a steady stream of folks heading in to the bakery to get their fill.
“We’ve had orders, we’ve hard our phone ringing off the hook yesterday, people trying to get their last-minute orders in, and people — just walk-ins today trying to get a bite,” Moore added.
While prune is the classic filling for a Pączki, the Huron Mountain Bakery offered a multitude of flavors to appeal to a wide variety of tastes.