STERLING HEIGHTS — In the singular, it's pronounced "pączek" (pon-check).
But let's be honest, no one eats them in the singular.
Across Polonia, the annual tradition of "Pączki Day" is a crowd favorite, and no one knows that better than the owners and staff at Irena's Pastry & Bistro in Sterling Heights. On Fat Tuesday, the day before the start of the Lenten fast, people line up for the calorie-laden, cream-and-fruit-stuffed, fried batch of doughy goodness known as pączki, and for good reason.
They're just that tasty.
The Polish tradition began with families combining indulgent ingredients such as butter, sugar and even alcohol into one last "dish" before the fast. To see how it's done (and maybe sneak an early bite or two), Detroit Catholic went behind the scenes to investigate what makes "Pączki Day" a big, glazed success.