Employees of The Polish Food Store in Houston worked all night Wednesday making hundreds of delicious pączki to celebrate Tłusty Czwartek or Fat Thursday which is a traditional Polish feast marking the last Thursday before Lent. It is somewhat similar to the French festival of Mardi Gras which is celebrated on Fat Tuesday.
Traditionally it is a day dedicated to eating, when people meet in their homes or cafes with their friends and relatives and eat large quantities of sweets, cakes and other meals forbidden during Lent. Pączki, which are large donuts filled with sweet jelly, are probably the most popular Polish food eaten on Fat Thursday.
Many Polish Americans celebrate Pączki day on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of lent. Andrew Szpak, owner of Polish Food Store, says not to worry, he’ll have plenty of pączki available next Tuesday. The store is located at 1780 Blalock in the Spring Branch area of Houston.