Pączki and faworki – these pastries accompany us during whole carnival, but their real holiday falls on Fat Thursday (the last Thursday prior to Ash Wednesday and Lent).
Although pączki were already known in ancient Rome, in Poland they didn’t appear until XVI century. Initially pączki were rather hard, unsweetened and made of bread dough. They used to be filled with pork fat and deep-fried in lard. Only later were they prepared in the form of spongy and sweet yeast cakes. Cooks used to put walnuts or almonds into some of cakes – a person who got the one with “a surprise” would have a lot of luck during whole year.
Pączki are filled yeast cakes made of wheat flour and deep-fried. There are numerous variants of filling – the most popular is wild rose hip marmalade, but you can often find cakes with pudding, advocate, vanilla cottage cheese, chocolate or fruit. Pączki are covered with icing and orange zest or powdered sugar or chocolate.
Pączki similar to Polish can be found in Great Britain and, thanks to the Polish Jews, in Israel. Hungarian pączki have no filling, because the additives are served separately. Cakes in the shape of a ring are American doughnuts. In other countries pączki are prepared basing on a German recipe for Berliner Pfunnkuchen, for example in France they are known as Boule de Berlin and in Portugal – Bolas de Berlin.
Other cakes traditionally eaten during carnival are faworki (chrust). These pastries contain wheat flour, sour cream and many egg yolks. Dough is rolled and beaten as long as air bubbles appear – the procedure guarantees light and crispy faworki. They look like topknots and are sprinkled with powdered sugar.
A legend says that if someone doesn’t eat at least one pączek on Fat Thursday, he won’t have luck for the whole year . Between 12:00-01:00 each guests will receive a donut as a gift and 30% discount on all desserts on the card. So that let yourself be tempted more than once!