The Suffield Polish Heritage Society will celebrate Fat Thursday with a Coffee and Paçzki Hour on Feb. 8, 2024, starting at 10 a.m. The event will be held at the Suffield Ambulance Center and will last until nothing is left except crumbs. Attendees are encouraged to bring Show and Tell items such as family photos, Polish crafts, genealogical work, or other memorabilia.
What are paçzki? (In native Poland, paçzki is pronounced like “pownch-key.” The singular term is paçzek.) They are similar to doughnuts, but richer. The pastry originated in Poland during the Middle Ages and, at that time, were filled with meat and coated simply with granulated sugar. Over the years, other fillings, such as custard or fruit, were used. Also, they may now be glazed or iced in many flavors, including chocolate.
Paczki were created to use up kitchen items such as eggs, butter, lard and fruit before the beginning of Lent. It was customary for Polish Catholics to indulge in foods that would not be allowed during the 40-day fasting period. In Poland, it was typical to share the treats with family and friends on Fat Thursday. Many cities in the United States celebrate with paçzki on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), the day before fasting begins.