Today is Fat Tuesday, the last day in the celebration that is Carnival. You probably are familiar with the French name for it-- Mardi Gras. In a large portion of the world, there is an entire week of feasting, partying, and boozing in the lead up to Ash Wednesday, when by contrast, everything becomes very somber for several weeks. More often than not, most people recognize Fat Tuesday, and forget the week that precedes it.
Where I'm from (Michigan), there's a large portion of the population that is Polish. In the Polish tradition they eat pączki, a glorious combination of fried dough and tasty jelly. Usually, they come in prune or raspberry flavor, but now you can get them in just about any flavor that you want: lemon, apple, strawberry, Bavarian creme, chocolate creme, etc. THey are usually eaten on Thursday the week of Carnival. In the Midwest, because of the French tradition, Pączki Day is usually celebrated on Fat Tuesday. Honestly, I don't care what day of the week you want to eat them, as long as I get to have them!
Since moving to DC, it's been hard to find pączki outside of Baltimore, and frankly, they might as well be in New Jersey if I'm going all the way to Baltimore. But this year, I managed to find a bakery in Silver Spring, MD that had a good supply of them. Over the weekend, I went to the Woodmoor Pastry Shop and bought a couple black raspberry-apple flavoured pączki. Covered in a ton of powdered sugar, they were GLORIOUS in all of their mawkish and doughiness. And on top of that, the thing must've been the size of both of my fists. And all for 99cents! I managed to take a snapshot of it before I tried to shove half of it into my mouth.
I know you're jealous.