Last year, I wrote about various food-related adventures I wanted to have, from taking a road trip with my best-est blogging buddies to immersing myself in sensory and digestive overload at the Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Contest (a.k.a.: "The Super Bowl of Swine").
And now, I can officially say that I've knocked one item off my "to do" list ... YES!!!
pączki [POONCH-key] - gorgeous, obscenely rich, filled pastries - from the New Palace Bakery in Hamtramck [ham-TRAM-ick], a traditionally Polish city which is mostly-but-not-entirely surrounded by Detroit.
In Polish communities, all the butter, eggs, sugar, cream, lard, and other items that are about to become verboten during Lent - as Christians prepare for Easter through a combination of sacrifice, abstinence, fasting, and penitence - are embedded into sturdy, luscious pączki. (Please note: pączki is the plural, pączek [POON-chek] is the singular. And yes, I'm the only one with a sufficient language OCD to make this distinction; everyone else calls them pączki no matter how many they're talking about ... or eating. But hearing the English-y non-word "pączkis" - pluralizing the plural - makes my brain want to scream.)
Pączki may look familiar, as though they're merely glorified jelly doughnuts. However, to refer to them as such is to commit a sacrilege - these are a decadent delicacy all their own!
So Wendy and I set out first thing in the morning to purchase pączki, which can admittedly be found at bakeries in Ann Arbor as well as at grocery stores (though these are of such lesser quality that they don't really count). But Hamtramck is the heart and home of pączki - it's only right to shop there.
But truthfully, for reasons far more important than simply acquiring excellent pączki, Wendy and I schlepped off to wait in the cold to have ourselves an experience.
Rather than regaling you with a long-winded tale of amusement, diversion, sugar, and whatnot, here is a photo essay of our Pączki Day adventure:
|Channel 2's news cameras were covering the show live. The Detroit News had a cameraman inside, shooting footage for its website.|
|Another shop offering a different type of pre-Lenten treat. Note that they are "beignet-skis," rather than the better known "beignets," because Hamtramck is traditionally a Polish town ... ;)|