bake - March/April 2022 - 32

showtime in
paczki city
A look at how Chicago bakeries prepared
for the rush of customers for Fat Tuesday.
BY BRIAN AMICK
In late February, the Windy City more than lived up to
its nickname. As I made my way around Chicago, with
thousands of other commuters on their own cold, snowy
journeys, I thought about how we all desire warm shelter
and warmer treats. This was especially the case heading
into Fat Tuesday, which took place on March 1.
Few American cities embrace the concept of Fat
Tuesday quite like Chicago. One of the city's biggest
traditions around this time is to indulge in paczki. In
fact, for many, Fat Tuesday is more commonly referred
to as Paczki Day.
Paczki Day is one of the biggest days of the year
for many Midwestern bakeries. They prepare for
the rush of customers who will grab these special
treats during the final days and hours before Ash
Wednesday. Fat Tuesday represents the last day of
indulgence before the Catholic season of Lent begins.
From Wednesday, March 2, through Saturday, April 16,
millions of Americans will look to fast or give up certain
luxuries in their daily lives. Therefore, the Tuesday
before Lent has become a special holiday for many,
including those in the baking industry.
For more devout followers, certain cooking fats are
forbidden during Lent. In Poland, that practice led to
the rise of certain delicacies on Fat Tuesday, such as
paczki. Pronounced POONCH-key, these donut-like
pastries typically filled with custard or jelly came to
America with Polish immigrants who passed on the
tradition to their kin.
Paczki became a common fried treat to find in urban
Midwestern centers with large Polish communities, like
Chicago. Over time, these pastries have earned a reputation
as an important part of the Lenten season. As its
success caught on elsewhere, more and more retailers
across the country focused on making their special
brand of this baked good.
Some of the more traditional bakeries offered paczki
with fillings like prune, raspberry, lemon and custard,
while many paczki professionals also look to provide
more trendy offerings. There are many different sizes of
bakeries throughout Chicago, and I had the opportunity
to visit three very different paczki specialists in the days
leading up to Fat Tuesday.
Leaning on tradition
Much like Sosland Publishing Company (the publisher
of bake), Dinkel's Bakery was founded in 1922. When
Joseph Dinkel, came to Chicago in the early 1900s, he
32 < MAR-APR 2022 | bakemag.com
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN AMICK
http://www.bakemag.com

bake - March/April 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of bake - March/April 2022

bake - March/April 2022 - Intro
bake - March/April 2022 - 1
bake - March/April 2022 - 2
bake - March/April 2022 - 3
bake - March/April 2022 - 5
bake - March/April 2022 - 5
bake - March/April 2022 - 6
bake - March/April 2022 - 7
bake - March/April 2022 - 8
bake - March/April 2022 - 9
bake - March/April 2022 - 10
bake - March/April 2022 - 11
bake - March/April 2022 - 12
bake - March/April 2022 - 13
bake - March/April 2022 - 14
bake - March/April 2022 - 15
bake - March/April 2022 - 16
bake - March/April 2022 - 17
bake - March/April 2022 - 18
bake - March/April 2022 - 19
bake - March/April 2022 - 20
bake - March/April 2022 - 21
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bake - March/April 2022 - 24
bake - March/April 2022 - 25
bake - March/April 2022 - 26
bake - March/April 2022 - 27
bake - March/April 2022 - 28
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