You know what a King Cake is right? If you don't then you ain't from around here. If you don't know what a Paczki is then chances are you aren't of Polish descent or a resident of the Midwest.

I had a friend from Michigan ask me to save him some Paczki and I had no idea what he was talking about. I figured he was just another misguided soul that chose to live north of I-10. It turns out that Paczki, pronounced Pawshkee, is what King Cake lovers eat when they aren't in Louisiana.

A Paczki has all the grace and charm of a jelly donut. I bet when prepared by the loving hands of a Polish grandmother they are to die for.

I'd like to think of them as a single serve King Cake without the parental obligation of finding the baby and having to supply the next King Cake. I have never tried a Paczki but I would be willing to give one or several a try.

According to tradition, the Paczki were once a savory treat, maybe stuffed with meat and vegetables. They eventually sauntered over to the sweet side and some of the more popular Paczki flavors are filled with jellied fruit, chocolate, or custard.

They even have their own day, Paczki Day. It's a day similar to Mardi Gras with a lot of food, drinking, and the obligatory nap and regrets for later in the day. So, whether you're choosing to pound Paczki today or you plan to cram a King Cake in your pie hole today just remember no matter what you call it, it's all going to wind up as a diabetes diagnosis tomorrow.

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