It’s paczki season: what you need to know about the Polish donut that’s sweeping the Midwest
Believe it or not, the Midwest actually has its own variety of regional donut and now’s the perfect time to try it. The paczki (pronounced PUNCH-key, PAUNCH-key, or POONCH-key, depending on who you ask), is a pastry that’s unique and delicious in its own right, and it’s traditionally served on Fat Tuesday.
Hailing from Poland, the sweet treat native to Poland appears most often in the form of a filled yeast donut. And while the paczki traditionally featured fillings such as rose and prune jam, that’s been expanded to include a vast array of fruit fillings and even custard. Additionally, Paczkis are crafted by adding a dash of grain alcohol directly to the dough, which prevents them from absorbing too much oil in the fryer.
While the paczki isn’t as popular here as it is in cities like Cleveland, Chicago, and Detroit, it’s still available if you know where to look. We’ve curated a list of our favorite spots to grab the Polish delicacy, many of which are available for a limited time only. Na Zdrowie!
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Open since 1912, Resch’s has become something of an eastside institution in Columbus, offering a slice of the past with their traditional pastries and numbered-ticket service. And speaking of tradition, Resch’s continues to offer some of the finest paczki in the city every year. In 2021, they’ll be baking up another round, but only for Fat Tuesday (Feb. 16).
Buckeye Donuts (Campus)
While Buckeye Donuts has yet to join the century club alongside Resch’s, it still stands as an iconic Columbus eatery. As it has in years past, the campus donut spot will be offering paczki on the Monday before Fat Tuesday and the holiday itself (Feb. 15-16). Look out for varieties like raspberry, blueberry, and even vanilla custard.
True to their name, this westside bakery is one of the few Columbus spots that serves up fresh, housemade paczki each year. While many bakeries offer an extremely limited window of sales on the pastries (we’re talking a few days), these paczki are currently for sale, and will be offered daily through Fat Tuesday. If you really need some on a certain day, though, call ahead. They sell out quickly.
While this up and coming home kitchen chef regularly whips up pierogies and kolaczki, this year they’ll be expanding into the paczki game as well with both strawberry and raspberry pastries. While you’ll need to order ahead to secure these, it’ll be worth your time, Trust us. Pre-orders for this year’s batch of paczki will begin at the end of this week, so make sure not to miss out.
In case you’re headed to North Market downtown anytime soon, you might want to stop by Destination Donut, the historic market’s resident donut-slingers. As they have in recent years, Destination Donuts will be selling homemade paczki in 2021.
No, it’s not a typo. But it wouldn’t be the first time Wolf’s Ridge has dabbled in the world of sweet treats either, as they recently offered an interesting cookie-beer pairing basket. This time, they’re teaming up with the Cleveland-based Rudy’s Strudel & Bakery to bring you their own version of the traditional pastry.
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