Prospect celebrates Paczki Day

By Jack McDermott

Staff Writer

The religions of Muslim, Christianity, and Buddhism are very different when it comes to who is being worshipped, how to worship, and when.  However, all three religions are required to fast.  Fasting is required for different lengths and dates but  all participate.

    Before fasting, all three religions also eat as much as possible to try an make the experience as pain-free as they can.  For Christians, Fat Tuesday, or the day before the fasting period of Lent, is celebrated as a time to eat as much as possible.  A popular treat to eat that started in Poland is called the paczki, and wherever the Polish go, the paczki follows.
In Mount Prospect,  a famous place to get paczkis is at the Continental Bakery.  Every year for the past 32 years Continental Bakery has pumped out 500 of these treats a day between Thursday Feb. 16 and Tuesday Feb. 21.  This year, due to the loads of customers, the bakery will be open all night Monday into Tuesday.

This change will especially help the bakers because the paczkis can only be baked a day ahead to keep them fresh.  By staying open all night, the bakers will have time to store up on paczkis for the day ahead, Fat Tuesday.

    “Fat Tuesday is definitely our busiest day”, said employee Allison Montesinos.
To make it even harder on the bakers, Continental Bakery does not settle with making one or two kinds of paczkis, instead, they make over 40 kinds ranging from chocolate, to banana split.

While I visited, I tried a generic peach, and an exotic Key Lime, but sadly, only one exceeded my expectations.  The peach was a little to strong for my taste, but the doughnut part was very flaky and perfectly cooked.  However, the Key Lime was fantastic.  Every inch from the candied lime on top to the Key Lime cream in the middle was delicious.

Although this was my first experience with paczkis, I could not imagine how they could be made better anywhere else and would highly recommend this event to everybody, regardless of Polish heritage.