Paczki Day in the U.P.

Today is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, a traditional day of indulgence for Catholics before the sacrifices of Lent.

And to Polish–Americans, this is Paczki Day.  A Paczki is a polish pastry, similar to a filled doughnut, made from extra rich batter.  The U.P. lacks a large Polish–American population.  But the region has embraced the custom anyway.

Paczkis were made on Mardi Gras to use up food items that Catholic churches in Poland forbade during Lent.  And they can be filled with anything from chocolate to prunes.

Another Mardi Gras food tradition is the King Cake, which contains an inedible figurine of a baby.  If a group of people is sharing a King Cake, whoever has the piece with the baby inside is supposed to buy the next cake or host the next party.