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Video: Thousands of beautiful Paczki on Paczki Day 2024

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Chocolate Mousse, Strawberries and Cream, Atomic, and even Prune Paczki roll out of the kitchen at Calumet Bakery

LANSING, Ill. (February 16, 2024) – The parking lot was full at Calumet Bakery, and lines of people waited in front of the counter on Paczki Day — or Fat Tuesday — which fell on February 13 this year. But decades of experience have developed a system that keeps the order process moving, and the overall mood throughout the busy day was joyful and accommodating.

The Lansing Journal braved the crowds to find out more about what brings people out to Lansing’s Calumet Bakery for the Polish donut that’s more than just a donut:

Things we learned about Paczki

  • The word Paczki (pronounced POHNCH-kee) is plural. Paczek (POHNCH-eck) is the singular. If you order a dozen Paczki, you might find it difficult to limit yourself to just one Paczek.
  • Paczki is a Polish word, a diminutive form of the Polish word for “bud,” which is related to a Slavic word that refers to anything round or bulging to the point of bursting.
  • Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent, which is a time of fasting in many religions. Fat Tuesday was an opportunity to indulge before fasting begins, and Paczki were created to use up “forbidden” ingredients such as lard, eggs, fruit, and sugar. For that reasons, Paczki are typically richer than donuts, using yeast instead of baking powder, for example.
  • Prune or stewed plum filling is one of the traditional Paczki flavors, but other fruit fillings are popular as well. Strawberry, blueberry, and apple are among the most common.

Visit Calumet Bakery year-round

Calumet Bakery is located at 18349 Torrence Ave. in Lansing Illinois. Contact them online at:

Paczki
Calumet Bakery is located at 18349 Torrence Ave. in Lansing Illinois. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

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Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.