Paczki Day was February 21, 2012.
Traditional Polish pastries, associated with using up all of the good ingredients in the house before Lent. Like big jelly doughnuts -- but richer. In the past couple decades, Paczki Day has spread out from Hamtramck to become a tradition in the Detroit area and across Michigan.
(Singular: paczek, but nobody ever says that.)
The pronunciation of the word is debated; locals are apt to say punch-key or poonch-key, though a more accurate Polish pronunciation can be heard here.
Where to get them
For a field trip to Hamtramck
If you are going to Hamtramck for Paczki Day, some bakeries to stake out at 5am include:
New Deluxe Polish Bakery, 11920 Conant (at Eldridge) (313)892-8165(Closed in 2012)
- New Martha Washington Bakery, 10335 Joseph Campau, (313)872-1988
- New Palace Bakery, 9833 Joseph Campau, (313)875-1334
- Polish Market, Joseph Campau (at Belmont), (313)365-3731
- Paczki Day 2008 in Hamtramck with Mo Rocca for CBS Sunday Morning
Around the blogs
- Paczki pursuit: Polish treats big draw at Ann Arbor area bakeries, Ann Arbor News, February 2009
- Kitchen Chick discussion of Paczki Day, with a photo of Amadeus's paczki: http://www.kitchenchick.com/2005/02/paczki_day.html
- Kitchen Chick comes through again with an audio guide to pronounciation: http://www.kitchenchick.com/2008/02/paczki-day-tomo.html
- Chowhound has a 2007 thread on best Polish bakeries for paczki