WBEZ | paczki http://www.wbez.org/tags/paczki Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Packing in the paczkis http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/packing-paczkis-109792 <p><p>Happy Paczki Day, Chicago!</p><p>This occasion marks a time of feasting before the Lenten fast &mdash; specifically on the jelly doughnuts&nbsp; known as paczki that are a tradition in Poland. But unlike cultures that celebrate Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras, paczki have their heyday on two distinct days in Chicago&rsquo;s Polish community.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Photos: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/sets/72157641622072985/" target="_blank">Paczki Day in Chicago</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>&ldquo;By being of Polish extraction and living in Chicago, you get the best of both worlds,&rdquo; explained Jan Lorys, managing director of the Polish Museum of America, which is located in the West Town neighborhood on Milwaukee Ave., the longtime &ldquo;Main Street&rdquo; of Polish Chicago.</p><p>Lorys continued, &ldquo;In Poland, the tradition is that you are getting ready for Lent, which is a period of fasting. So you get rid of all of your animal fats...and make paczki, which are deep fried in fat.&rdquo;</p><p>That happens on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday -- both in Poland and in Chicago&rsquo;s bakery-filled Polish-American neighborhoods.</p><p>&ldquo;But when you come to the United States, the big thing is Mardi Gras, the Shrove Tuesday before Ash Wednesday,&rdquo; Lorys said. &ldquo;So the idea came for having Paczki Day on Shrove Tuesday, combining an existing American holiday with something from Poland.&rdquo;</p><p>That is how most U.S. Polish communities do it, but in Chicago we respectfully observe both traditions, meaning, Lorys said, &ldquo;that you have them on Thursday, and then starve yourself over the weekend and then have them on Tuesday again.&rdquo;</p><p>So now that you understand the double-doughnut-day directive, we should say a word about the spelling and pronunciation of this deep-fried treat.</p><p>Paczek (POANCH-ek) is the word for a single doughnut. But, as Lorys said, &ldquo;You never [just] eat one.&rdquo; So the really important word to learn is the the plural paczki (POANCH--kee) -- as in, &ldquo;I can&rsquo;t believe I just ate 17 paczki.&rdquo;</p><p>To make matters more confusing, the word paczki, meaning filled doughnut, looks exactly like the word paczki, meaning package. So if you have ever passed one of Chicago&rsquo;s many Polish shipping services and wondered if the sign saying &ldquo;Paczki do Polski&rdquo; means they specialize in mailing doughnuts to Poland, the answer is &ldquo;no.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczki%20powder.jpg" style="float: right; height: 197px; width: 350px;" title="" />You may also be wondering if paczki are really that much different from other jelly doughnuts, Bismarcks, Berliners, bombolini, Boston cremes, or sufganiyot. From the looks of them you might think they&rsquo;re all the same. But Dobra Bielinski of Delightful Pastries explains that they are a denser, eggier affair.</div><p><br />&ldquo;People really eat jelly-filled doughnuts for the filling, not the doughnut itself,&rdquo; the baker said. &ldquo;And with a paczki, what happens is that people eat it for the dough and not the filling. Relatively, there is less filling and and more dough. Once this cools off, when you bite it, it springs back, it doesn&rsquo;t collapse like pancake.&rdquo;</p><p>On Wednesday morning, Bielinski presided over a bustling kitchen that would crank out more than 20,000 paczki over the next week, including 10,000 pre-ordered doughnuts and several thousand for the City of Chicago&rsquo;s birthday celebration in Daley Plaza Tuesday.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;And those are just the orders we know about. We still have to make them for orders [by] people who are coming into the store,&rdquo; Bielinski said.</p><p>Giant bowls of butter, flour, rum, eggs, yeast, and sugar were spinning under the mixer. Workers rolled finished mounds of dough into lime-sized balls for proofing. Once risen, whole trays of paczki buns would be gently lowered into vats of oil. Traditionally, that oil would have been lard, but today Bielinski uses a blend of canola and soy to reflect changing customer demands .</p><p>&ldquo;If I had to do it at home, I would do it in lard,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>&ldquo;Me too,&rdquo; piped in Stasia Hawryszczuk, her mom, &ldquo;because it tastes much better.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;If you were living in a small town in Poland,&rdquo; Bielinski said, &ldquo;everyone would have their own pig in the backyard and the pig was fed scraps, and the lard was fairly healthy because they didn&rsquo;t add anything to it. You would melt it down and you&rsquo;d have all this fat to fry in. &ldquo;</p><p>Midway through frying, the bobbing buns were expertly flipped using what look like two mahogany chopsticks.</p><p>And when the hot walnut-colored pastries emerged from the fryer, they bore nary a drop of grease -- thanks, Bielinski said, to the rum in the dough that prevents excessive absorption of oil.</p><p>Next up, is the sugar glaze, which was traditionally studded with candied orange peels, a delicacy in Poland during this time of year when fresh fruit was scarce.</p><p>When I was a young kid in Poland you would get oranges under the Christmas tree,&rdquo; Bielinski said.&nbsp; &ldquo;There was a lot of rationing of food. So if you would spend your money on oranges, you would use up entire orange and you&rsquo;d put the bits of candied orange peel on top of your pazckis and make a luxury item, so to speak.&rdquo;</p><p>And lastly comes the injection of filling. Traditional fillings including prune and rose petal jam, but in recent years Bielinski has gotten more creative.</p><p>&ldquo;We we do vanilla bean custard and vodka, Jameson&rsquo;s whiskey and chocolate custard, and then we did moonshine with lemon curd,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;So those were the adult ones.&rdquo;</p><p>Bielinski is especially proud of the tart and tropical passion fruit, which she makes from real fruit puree.</p><p>If you ask a dozen paczki lovers about their favorite flavors, you could easily get a dozen different answers back.&nbsp;</p><p>Responses we got included rose hip jelly, cherry, strawberry, apricot, prune, custard, chocolate, raspberry.</p><p>But regardless of which flavor you choose,&nbsp; we can all agree that these round poofs of sweetness can offer some much needed comfort during this long punishing winter.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the&nbsp;</em><em><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/chewing-fat-podcast-louisa-chu-and-monica-eng">Chewing the Fat</a></strong></em><em>&nbsp;podcast. Follow her at&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a> or write to her at&nbsp;</em><em><a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a></em></p></p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 12:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/packing-paczkis-109792 Delightful paczki do Mardi Gras, Polish-style http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-02/delightful-paczki-do-mardi-gras-polish-style-105474 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8467187863/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczkidelightfuldrunken.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Drunken Donuts paczki with vanilla custard and vodka at Delightful Pastries in Jefferson Park, Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p>When Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world with his resignation announcement yesterday, Catholics across Chicago could at least stress eat with paczki.&nbsp;</p><p>The Polish pastries are part of the great last hurrah before Lent. They&#39;re traditionally eaten in Poland on Fat Thursday (last Thursday), and across this country today on Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras. In Chicago, we celebrate both days thanks to our Polish-American population, and because we like to eat.</p><p>Paczki look like everyday doughnuts but should feel heavier, bite denser, and taste unfamiliar, filled with stewed plum or rose hip jam. Before the gourmet doughnut trend, there were paczki.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8468265190/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczkidelightfulstorefront.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Delightful Pastries in Jefferson Park, Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">But at Delightful Pastries, pastry chef/owner Dobra&nbsp;Bielinski, is injecting a little of the new world too, sometimes with a shot of vodka. Yes, she makes all the old world flavors at her Jefferson Park location. She says her older, Polish customers prefer them.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8467161237/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczkidelightfulbox.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Box of rose hip, drunken chocolate, strawberry whipped cream, and chocolate raspberry jam paczki from Delightful Pastries in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Yet, during a visit on Fat Thursday last week, an older Polish-speaking man listened carefully to a young Polish-speaking shopgirl explain the new flavors, including passionfruit jam. He eventually added a decidedly untraditional chocolate raspberry to his box of a dozen paczki.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8468250580/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczkidelightfulplum.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Plum jam paczki from Delightful Pastries in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">Me too, but I like the stewed plum jam the best. Powidła is made with late harvest plums, cooked down slowly for hours with no added sugar or pectin, earning its sweet, tart, and thick character only with time.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.delightfulpastries.com/">Delightful Pastries</a></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left;"><p>Jefferson Park<br />5927 W. Lawrence Ave.<br />Chicago, IL 60630<br />773-545-7215</p><p>Old Town<br />1710 N. Wells St.<br />Chicago, IL 60614<br />312-255-0724</p>Chicago French Market<br />131 N. Clinton Ave.<br />Chicago, IL 60661<br />312-234-9644</div></div><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8467150043/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/paczkidelightfuldobra.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Pastry chef/owner Dobra Bielinski holds tray of plum and rose hip jam paczki at Delightful Pastries in Jefferson Park, Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p></p> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-02/delightful-paczki-do-mardi-gras-polish-style-105474 Eat this, drink that: crepes, paczki, and more http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-02/eat-drink-crepes-paczki-and-more-105272 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8435151025/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/creperiecomptoircrepe.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Crêpe du jour with Emmental cheese, roast chicken, marinated artichokes, arugula, and basil La Crêperie du Comptoir in Paris (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><p><strong>Friday, February 01</strong></p><p>WBEZ blogger&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/mark-bazer">emeritus Mark Bazer</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;celebrates the fifth anniversary of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theinterviewshowchicago.com/december/">The Interview Show</a>, <a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com/event/208457-interview-show-hosted-by-mark-chicago/">at the Hideout</a>, benefiting the <a href="http://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/site/PageServer">Greater Chicago Food Depository</a>. Very special guests include <a href="http://www.stephanieizard.com/">chef/Goatherdess Stephanie Izard</a>, Jon Langford, Bill Zehme, and Schadenfreude, featuring BEZ&#39;s beloved <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinKaufmann/status/281915355486625792">anti-Marxist Justin Kaufmann</a>. Admission $8.</p><p><a href="http://www.choosechicago.com/things-to-do/dining/chicago-restaurant-week/">Chicago Restaurant Week</a> kicks off at over 250 restaurants offering&nbsp;limited edition prix fixe menus for the next 10 days, until next Sunday, February 10. Admission starts at $22 for lunch and $33 or $44 for dinner.</p><p><strong>Saturday, February 02</strong></p><p>Paris-born French chef Martial Noguier <a href="http://bistronomic.net/hostalt/?post_type=events&amp;p=1996">celebrates <em>La Chandeleur</em></a>, aka crêpes day, at his restaurant Bistronomic. Noguier has created a two-course lunch and three-course dinner prix fixe. The menus offer a first course of caramelized onion soup with shaved <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-10/young-americans-2012-rush-creek-reserve-uplands-cheese-103351">Pleasant Ridge Reserve</a> cheese, brioche croutons, <a href="http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s14e14-creme-fraiche">and crème fraîche</a>; second course of chicken confit crêpes with mushroom ragout and sauce Mornay; and third, dessert course of Crêpes Suzette with mandarin&nbsp;orange salad and Grand Marnier sauce. Admission $20 for lunch, $28 for dinner.</p><p><strong>Sunday, February 03</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.filinichicago.com/">Filini Bar and Restaurant</a> hosts a&nbsp;<a href="http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl">Puppy Bowl IX</a> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/FiliniChicago/posts/341030219344393">pet-friendly&nbsp;viewing party</a> at the <a href="http://www.radissonblu.com/aquahotel-chicago">Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel</a>, <a href="http://www.pawschicago.org/">benefiting PAWS Chicago</a>! Chef/dog-lover William Johnson will offer pups complimentary treats he made himself. For humans, his creative canine-themed menu start with takes on the classic cocktail Salty Dog: the Chihuahua (Del Maguey mezcal, grapefruit juice, housemade sour mix), Cane Corso (Averna amaro, grapefruit, Angostura Bitters), English Bulldog (Beefeater gin, grapefruit, house sour), Irish Setter (Bushmills whiskey, Bénédictine, Maraschino liqueur), and the Tatra Sheepdog (house-infused clove vodka, mint, Demurer). Food specials include the Chesapeake Bay Retriever (Parrot Island oysters with mignonette), Italian Greyhound (pepperoni pizza), and Weimaraner (bratwurst, brioche bun, sauerkraut). Plus a dessert of a trio of Push Pops: the Beagle (white and black chocolate truffle mousse), Blue Nose American Staffordshire Terrier (blueberry mousse), and the St. Bernard (dark chocolate bourbon mousse). Admission FREE,&nbsp;10% of Filini&#39;s profits will benefit PAWS,&nbsp;from PB IX kickoff &mdash; including the <a href="http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/videos/puppy-bowl-kitty-halftime-show.htm">Kitty Half-time Show</a> &mdash; until the restaurant&rsquo;s closing.</p><p><strong>Monday, February 04</strong></p><p>The <a href="http://www.illinoismyco.org/home">Illinois Mycological Association</a>, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-10-11/first-rule-mushroom-club-93031">aka Mushroom Club</a>, welcomes renown&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mycophilia.com/">mycophile Eugenia Bone</a>&nbsp;at&nbsp;the <a href="http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/North-Park-Village-Nature-Center/">North Park Village Nature Center</a>. Bone&#39;s lecture will focus on how the biology of mushrooms affects our culinary experience of them. She will also sign her beautiful new book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1605294071?ie=UTF8&amp;creativeASIN=1605294071&amp;tag=lklchu-20"><em>Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms</em></a>.&nbsp;Admission FREE for IMA members, $5 suggested donation for non-members, but <a href="http://www.illinoismyco.org/join">no one will be turned away due to the lack of funds</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Wednesday, February 06</strong></p><p><a href="http://soupandbread.net/">Soup &amp; Bread</a> presents this week&#39;s theme,&nbsp;<a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ApPhpdY9KXzPdDRfMUk3WFFoZlRNd2VvR0RJcjdJS1E#gid=0">Down Under: Soups of the Southern Hemisphere</a>, benefiting <a href="http://chicagohelpinitiative.org/">The Chicago Help Initiative</a>, as always <a href="http://www.hideoutchicago.com/event/208429-soup-bread-chicago/">at the Hideout</a>. Bread donated by Publican Quality Meats and La Farine Bakery. Admission FREE, donate what you can and <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/7071326897/">Everyone LOVES the Generous!</a></p><p><strong>Thursday, February 07</strong></p><p>The Polish American Association celebrates Fat Thursday/Tłusty Czwartek with&nbsp;a <a href="http://www.polish.org/paczki-day-2013">Pączki Day fundraiser </a>at all five <a href="http://www.oakmillbakery.com/">Oak Mill Bakery</a> locations, two PAA locations, and Polish <a href="http://www.polskieradio.com/">radio station&nbsp;WNVR</a>. They say, &quot;&quot;An old Polish proverb states, &#39;If you don&rsquo;t eat at least one doughnut on Fat Thursday, you will not be successful in the New Year.&#39;&quot; Admission $3 per&nbsp;pączki.</p><p><strong>Save the Date: Friday, February 08</strong></p><p>The Chicago Auto Show presents the <a href="http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/first_look/">First Look for Charity</a> at McCormick Place, benefiting <a href="http://www.chicagoautoshow.com/first_look/first_look_benefiting_charities.aspx">18 local charities</a>. The <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2012-02-10/chicago-auto-show-food-trucks-food-drive-first-look-and-more-96276">black-tie event</a> will include food and drink David Burke&#39;s Primehouse, Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar, Real Urban Barbecue, Moët Hennessy, and much more. Admission $250.</p></p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2013-02/eat-drink-crepes-paczki-and-more-105272 Top 5 places to celebrate Paczki Day/Fat Tuesday http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-03/top-5-places-celebrate-paczki-dayfat-tuesday-82964 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Oak Mill Bakery 1.jpg" alt="" /><p><div style="text-align: center;"><i><img src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-01/Oak Mill Bakery 1.jpg" alt="" title="" style="width: 485px; height: 317px;" /><br />Paczki from Oak Mill Bakery (photo: Joseph Storch)<br /></i></div><div style="text-align: left;">Last year, I happened to be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, and recall it was just a week after the Saints had won the Super Bowl; it was mid-February. This year, the festivities get going a little later, with Ash Wednesday falling on March 9, meaning Fat Tuesday occurs on March 8. Back-timing it one step further, Paczki (POANCH-key) Day always falls on the Thursday <em>before</em> Fat Tuesday, which means today is the day to bury yourself in sweet, fried Polish &quot;doughnuts&quot; the shape of softballs, usually filled with some type of jam or rose petal-flavored preserves. In both cases, these gluttonous days are meant to serve as one last splurge, before moving into the season of Lent, the 40 days before Easter when observers will typically give up meat or some other food item. Enter the pepper-and-egg sandwich at your favorite beef joint, as well as the Filet-O-Fish at your local McD's.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Here are a few of my favorites this week, with Fat Tuesday-related dishes highlighted in parentheses:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>1. <a href="http://www.oakmillbakery.com/">Oak Mill Bakery </a>(six locations in suburbs and city - paczki)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>2. <a href="http://www.cajunjoynt.com/">Lagniappe</a>, 1525 W. 79th St., 773-994-6375 (gumbo, etouffee)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>3. <a href="http://www.macandmins.com/">Mac &amp; Min's</a>, 1045 W. Madison, 312-563-1008&nbsp;(po' boys)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>4. <a href="http://www.delightfulpastries.com/">Delightful Pastries</a>, (three locations in town, including French Market -&nbsp;paczki)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>5. <a href="http://www.heavenonseven.com/">Heaven on Seven</a> (three locations in the area, but still prefer original on Wabash - jambalaya)&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>(Would have recommended&nbsp;<a href="http://www.alliance-bakery.com/">Alliance Bakery</a>&nbsp;at 1736 W. Division, but they're only selling paczki on March 8, not on the actual Paczki Day today)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: center;"><img height="607" width="404" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-01/Oak Mill Bakery 2.jpg" alt="" title="" /></div><div style="text-align: center;"><em>Fancy-schmancy paczki from Oak Mill Bakery (photo: Joseph Storch)</em></div></p> Thu, 03 Mar 2011 12:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-03/top-5-places-celebrate-paczki-dayfat-tuesday-82964