Celebrate Fat Tuesday with a Paczki in Pure Michigan

To celebrate Paczki Day (Fat Tuesday) in Pure Michigan, Joanna Dueweke of The Awesome Mitten gives us some history behind the holiday along with a roundup of sweet ways to indulge next Tuesday! 

Paczki-in-HamtramckIt’s that time of year again! March 4th is Fat Tuesday, or as it is lovingly called in many areas in Michigan, Paczki Day. Pronounced POONCH-KEE, paczki are deep-fried pieces of dough stuffed with sweet fillers of numerous variations. Fat Tuesday is the day before the Christian holiday of Lent where folks traditionally refrain from indulgent treats, but Michiganders (and much of the US) have adopted the Polish tradition of indulging in these treats and adding festivities to the mix. In Hamtramck, a city near Detroit which has been heralded as Michigan’s ‘Poletown’ since Polish immigrants started flooded the area in 1914, celebrations start at 7am and consumers line up around the block from their favorite bakeries to get their hands on paczki.

Photo courtesy of Carrie Acosta

Photo courtesy of Carrie Acosta

Traditionally, paczki were made to use up the remaining lard, sugar, eggs and fruit that were in households before Lent began; Catholic customs forbid those indulgences during the Lenten holiday. Polish immigrants brought those traditions with them to the United States, so places with strong Polish roots hold on to those important celebrations. No one is really complaining; Fat Tuesday is a day full of fun and delicious treats!

We know that not everyone can travel to Hamtramck or devote a day to revelry. With that in mind, we’ve discovered several spots throughout Michigan that are rumored to have especially delicious paczki. It is often advised to get to these spots early or order in advance because they’re a hot commodity!

Suggestions in no particular order:

Photo courtesy of Tour de Troit

Photo courtesy of Tour de Troit

Feel guilty about indulging in such decadence? No worries, Hamtramck has you covered there as well. Join them for the Paczki Run on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. You will run through some great urban terrain and end with a much deserve paczki and a beer!

Will you be having a paczki on Fat Tuesday? Let us know where you get one from!

Joanna DuewekeJoanna Dueweke writes for the Awesome Mitten and is the Interactive Marketing Coordinator for the Detroit Regional Chamber. Born and raised in Traverse City, she is enjoying new adventures in the Detroit area, but also values her roots in Northern Michigan. Exploring the outdoors, sailing, travel, and enjoying the Mitten’s beer industry consume her time when she is not pursuing her Master’s in Library and Information Science at Wayne State University.

From Our Community: 21 Reasons We’re in Love with Michigan

It’s Valentine’s Day! And it’s the perfect time to show your love. We asked our fans on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram to tell us why they love the state of Michigan. We received so many wonderful and heartfelt responses. From long summer days to soft falling snow, it’s unanimous – There’s a lot to love about Pure Michigan!

Below is a roundup of just some of our favorite responses from fans. If yours is missing, tell us in the comments section why you’re in love with Michigan!

“I love the beauty of our state, from the miraculous sand dunes up and over the Mighty Mac Bridge to Pictured Rocks and all around the mitten the sparkly blue water of the Great Lakes!”  -Mary Distelrath McGowan

“I love the four beautiful seasons and the lighthouses.” -Lisa Foor Swartz

South Haven, Traverse City, Mission Point, Petoskey, The Great Lakes..Hot Summers..Colorful Fall Season..Apple orchards..blueberries.” -Jean Farrell DeWaters

“All the natural beauty, from lighthouses, to sand dunes, to sunsets and everything in between!” -Robin Ruff Leja

“I love the sand dunes and the wineries and the beaches!”  -Amy Parsons

“I love the smell of fresh air in Northern MI. The beautiful fresh water in our lakes…the seasons…I LOVE Mackinac Island!” -Teresa Dungey Gotch

“EVERYTHING, including the SNOW!” -Carol Hagen

“The smell of the pines and a wonderful sunset over Grand Traverse Bay!” -Linda Leder

“I love the way the sand feels on my feet 100 yards out! When it ripples into a washboard like repetition! I also love that you can find a spot ankle deep 200 yards out!” -Nathan Smith

“Skiing in Boyne!” -Lindsay O’Rourke

“The lakes and rivers to fish in. Fresh stealhead or walleye.” -Beth Powell-bennett

Fishing, camping and hiking in the Western U.P.” -Loretta Stolarz

“Summers near Ludington!” -Anne Stewart Goss

Frankenmuth, I love going there. I have been going up there for 50 years, never get tired of it!” -Louise Brown

“The snow, the lighthouses, Mackinac Island. The Lakes. Well Everything really.” -Sheila Anne Lawson

“Taking a day off to go to a lake is easy. Can’t wait for spring!” -Theresa Lynn Many

“We have a BEAUITFUL state! The water at Pictured Rocks in Lake Superior is like the Caribbean, it’s gorgeous! The different blues, you have to go see it!” -Wanda Tindle-Perry

“The 4 seasons, scenery like nowhere else, the lakeshore, and the sweet embrace when I go home to the UP!” -Cheryl Pekuri Wright

“Scenery, scenery, and more scenery. Add my family to that and I have everything.” -Tobie Kahn Scheibel

“Plentiful waters, beautiful curvy hills & a blended culture. Michigan has creative products & best small businesses anywhere!” -Twitter user @TheXExchange  

“What’s not to love about Michigan?” -Michael Tokarz Photography

Why do you love Pure Michigan? 

You’re Invited: Live Web Chat with Michigan-Native Comedian Sinbad

Mark your calendars! Next Thursday, February 20th at 12:00 noon ET, we’ll be chatting live with Michigan-native actor and comedian Sindbad.

Chat Live with Sinbad! This year, Sinbad will be performing at LaughFest in Grand Rapids - happening March 6 – 16, 2014. LaughFest is quickly becoming one of the nation’s “must attend” festivals, celebrating laughter for the health of it. Now in its fourth year, LaughFest features laughter in all forms including: comedy, live performance, improv, film, and a variety of other seriously funny stuff. Other LaughFest headliners include Jim Gaffigan, Jay Leno, Chris Tucker, and Jen Kirkman.

Sinbad will be with us to answer your questions about his career, his upcoming performance at LaughFest, his childhood in Michigan, and more!

To submit questions for Sinbad, leave them in the comments section below, on our Google+ or Facebook pages, or by using the hashtag #PureMichigan on Twitter. Then, tune in on Thursday right here on the blog! You’re also welcome to submit questions as the chat is happening.

What questions do you want to ask Sinbad?