February is here and that means Fat Tuesday is around the corner. To celebrate, pick up some traditional Polish pączki from your local Strack & Van Til Bakery. You won’t want to miss these fresh and delicious paczki made from scratch in our in-store bakeries.

This month, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Methodists will begin to observe the Lenten fast. But before they do, they also celebrate Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 25 this year.

Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, occurs the day before Ash Wednesday. It is said that on Fat Tuesday, people eat anything they want in preparation for fasting during Lent. During this fast time, it is also common to give up something enjoy, so Fat Tuesday is the time to indulge.

Probably the sweetest indulgence is the pączki, or Polish jelly doughnut.

“We carry the most popular flavors of pączki, available in four- and six-count packages in all Strack & Van Til stores, and there are individual pączki, as well,” said Bakery Director Tim Calderone. “You can find them in our bakeries through Fat Tuesday.”

According to tradition, pączki were made to use up a household’s eggs, sugar, lard and fruit, because religious fasting practices did not allow the consumption of these items during Lent.

In Poland, pączki are typically eaten on Fat Thursday, or the Thursday before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. In North America, Pączki Day is celebrated on Fat Tuesday, when paczki are enjoyed well beyond the Polish community.

Made by the Doughnut Crew at all locations, the pączki from the Strack & Van Til Bakery Department are some of the very best you will find. In addition to paczki, you’ll find a wide array of sweet and tasty doughnuts, plain and masterfully decorated. Stop in while we’re baking, and the aroma will make your mouth water.

Be sure to pick up your pączki in time for Fat Tuesday and look for specials in our weekly ads. Offering the freshest, scratch-made-in-store paczki is just another way that Strack & Van Til goes the extra mile for our customers.