As the snow blankets the Upper Peninsula, Michiganders prepare for a delightful tradition that warms both hearts and bellies: Paczki Day. These sweet, jelly-filled pastries have become synonymous with Fat Tuesday celebrations across the state. But what’s the story behind these delectable treats?

The tale of paczki begins in Poland, where Roman Catholics sought to clear their cupboards of rich ingredients like cream, lard, and sugar during the 40 days of Lent. These indulgent pastries were a way to use up these forbidden ingredients before the fasting period began. 

Paczki’s are available at local grocery stores and donut shops throughout Upper Michigan. The vibrant Polish American communities have embraced these pastries, turning them into a symbol of celebration and cultural pride.