What Midwesterners eat for Mardi Gras instead of King Cake

What Midwesterners eat for Mardi Gras instead of King Cake
Paczki's are what many Midwesterner's eat instead of King Cake. They're similar to a deep fried jelly doughnut. (Source: Chad Dalke/Gray TV)

(Gray News) – It’s Fat Tuesday! Time to tear into that delicious, sugary paczki!

Yeah, you thought that was going to be King Cake.

But if you’re in the Midwest and not down South, you might have your own Mardi Gras traditions.

Paczki is pronounced POONCH-kee, which is the plural pronunciation for this extra big doughnut found around the Midwest.

Similar to a jelly doughnut, a paczki is a Polish pastry that is especially popular on Fat Tuesday. The idea is that Christian families would use up all the lard, sugar, and eggs in the house before starting their Lenten fast.

For those outside of the South, King Cakes are devoured between King’s Day (Jan. 6) and Fat Tuesday. The sugar explosion is glazed and colored in gold, green and purple, and it can be filled with so many delicious flavors. Oh, and you have to find the little plastic baby - representing Baby Jesus - for good luck.

However, the plastic baby isn’t baked or placed in the cake anymore, so folks don’t choke on it.

Paczki’s have their own traditional sweet deliciousness. The pastry’s traditional fruit filling is prune – but there are other fillings.

Roma Bakery in Lansing, MI, uses 11 different fillings, such as lemon, apricot, blueberry, custard and of course, chocolate. Their most popular is raspberry.

Perhaps next year, Louisiana and Michigan can get a contest to see which tastes better – exchanging sweet goodness between states.

There are no losers in that kind of contest.

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