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What is Paczki Day? Where to Find Polish Pastries Near You in Illinois – NBC Chicago

While many Chicago area residents will celebrate Fat Tuesday with traditional Mardis Gras foods on Tuesday, others will enjoy delicious Polish pastries known as Paczki.

Fried pastries, pronounced “puhnch-kee,” date back to the 1700s, when people traditionally used “luxurious” foods like lard and sugar to ensure they wouldn’t go to waste during Lent, a time of 40 day fast. in Christianity.

“Families used up their eggs, butter, sugar and fruit by treating themselves one last time before the start of Lent with these rich donuts,” says a Michigan State University Extension article.

Dobra Bielinski, owner of Chicago bakery Delightful Pastries, previously told Smithsonian magazine that, while similar to other fried pastries, a paczek is not just a donut by another name. On the contrary, the paczki dough, with eggs, butter, milk, sugar and vanilla, is richer and heavier than what you’ll find in a typical American donut.

Paczki, pronounced “punch-key,” are a fried sweet treat – not to be confused with donuts, and Steve Dolinksy, NBC 5’s “The Food Guy,” discovered this delicious dish at a local Polish bakery.

“A freshly fried paczek is like a donut crossed with brioche, traditionally completed with a sweet fruit jam filling, a very thin glaze on top and often a hint of orange peel,” the article continues.

Early Tuesday morning, the bakers at Delightful Pastries carried pink “Got Paczki?” shirts worked in the kitchen preparing hundreds of paczki orders before opening at 6 a.m.

The paczki tradition quickly spread to Chicago and other communities where large numbers of Poles settled during the 20th century. Since then, many people have enjoyed paczki, regardless of their origins or religion.

Looking to get your hands on some paczki, or maybe want to try it for the first time? Here’s a list of more than 30 Chicago-area bakeries and grocery stores serving sweet treats.

Where to find paczki in and around Chicago:

Chicago:

  • Ace Bakery, 3241 S. Halsted St.
  • Alliance Bakery, 1736 W. Division St.
  • Andy’s Deli & Bakery Mikolajczyk Sausage Shop, 5442 N Milwaukee Ave.
  • Bridgeport Bakery 2.0, 2907 S. Archer Ave.
  • Big Kids, 2545 N Kedzie Blvd.
  • Delicious Pastries, 5927 W. Lawrence Ave.
  • Do-Rite Donuts, multiple locations at 1027 W. Addison St., 835 N. Michigan Ave., 181 N. Morgan St., 233 E. Erie St. and 50 W. Randolph St.
  • Firecakes Donuts, multiple locations including 68 W. Hubbard St., 2453 N. Clark St. and 205 W. Wacker Dr.
  • Kolatek Bakery – 2445 N. Harlem Ave. and in Palatine
  • Huck Finn, Oak Lawn, South Archer and South Pulaski Restaurants
  • Racine Bakery, 6216 S. Archer Ave.
  • Roeser Bakery, 3216 W. North Ave.
  • Smack Dab Chicago, 6730 North Clark Street
  • Stan’s Donuts, multiple locations including 1560 N. Damen Ave., 28 E. Roosevelt Rd., 2800 N. Clark St. and 259 E. Erie St.
  • Vanille Patisserie, Lincoln Park and West Loop Gate (Partnership with Benninson’s Bakery)
  • “Original” Ferrara Bakery, 2210 W. Taylor St.
  • Toni Patisserie and Café locations, Hinsdale and Loop
  • Weber Bakery, 7055 W. Archer Ave.

Suburb:

  • Bennison Bakery, Evanston
  • Chicago Patisserie, Bloomingdale
  • Deerfields Bakery, 813 Waukegan Road, Deerfield
  • DeEtta Bakery, Naperville
  • Donut Den, Joliet
  • Kolatek Bakery – 2445 N. Harlem Ave. and in Palatine
  • Gurnee Donuts, 4949 Grand Ave., Gurnee
  • Harner Bakery, North Aurora
  • Fleckenstein Bakery, Mokena and New Lenox
  • Kirsten’s Danish Bakery, Burr Ridge
  • Kuppie Bakery, Villa Park
  • Toni Patisserie and Café locations, Hinsdale and Loop
  • Oak Park Bakery, 904 S. Oak Park Ave.
  • Orland Park Bakery, 14850 S. LaGrange Rd., Orland Park
  • Palermo Bakery, Norridge
  • Wolf Bakery, Evergreen Park

Indiana:

  • Beck’s Crown Bakery, Crown Point, Indiana
  • Henze Bakery, Valparaiso, Indiana

Grocery stores

  • Angelo Caputo’s fresh markets
  • Deli 4 You Market
  • Jewel
  • Mariano
  • Meijer
  • Pete’s Fresh Market
  • Tony’s Fresh Market

NBC Chicago

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