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Today is Fat Thursday, not to be confused with Fat Tuesday, which doesn’t take place until next week. The Polish pre-Lenten tradition is also known as tłusty czwartek. Perhaps the Poles like to get their gorging started early because it revolves around pączki, a calorific treat that's larger than a child’s head. Well, not really, but since its origins lie in using up lard, sugar, eggs, and fruit before Lent, these steroidal jelly doughnuts might as well be bigger than a little girl’s noggin.

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The dough tastes like a zeppole, but a tad breadier. I was actually glad that there wasn’t a lot of jelly inside my pączki, otherwise I might have gone into sugar shock. I’m pretty sure the filling was a mix of rose jam and prunes. It was really good, but not something you’d want to eat everyday. It’s called Fat Thursday for a reason. After the jump, where to find them in Rockaway Park, Greenpoint, and the East Village.

I found my pączki at a Lublin Deli in Rockaway Park. There’s no need to trek out to the ocean to find these pre-Lenten treats though. Greenpoint’s Old Poland Bakery also has pączki. And in the East Village, Polish G.I. has ordered 400 of the pre-Lenten lard bombs.

Lublin Deli

239 Beach 116th Street, Rockaway Park NY 11694 (map)
718-608-6424

Old Poland Bakery & Restaurant

190 Nassau Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11222 (map)
718-349-7775

Polish G.I. Delicatessen

101 First Avenue, New York NY 10003 (map)
212-982-7893

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