Forget Valentine's Day, celebrate Paczki Day!

February 11, 2010

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a plethor of paczki from Old Mill Bakery (photo by Steve Dolinsky)

While everyone concentrates on Fat Tuesday parties next week, Chicagoans know that today is also a big day for the million or so residents in our area of Polish descent. It's Paczki Day today, and these squat, circular orbs of yeast-fed dough, fruit preserves and frosting will be sold in huge numbers over the next 24 hours.

In this week's Time Out Chicago, Heather Shouse has a nice roundup of places to stuff your face full of Paczki (PAUNCH-key), but they didn't mention‚ Oak Mill Bakery - one of the leaders in local paczki production. With six bakeries in the region - including a new cafe/bakery in Bucktown - they expect to sell about 80,000 packi...today. I spoke with owner Bogna Solak at her newest location, to talk about this delicious tradition - always held on the Thursday before Fat Tuesday. I also found the story I did on them two years ago, so you can actually see how they make the paczki. Paczki Day