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Mardi Gras or Fat Thursday? Pancakes or „pączki”?

lut 20

There is one day each year when you can eat as many sweets as your heart and stomach desire. Well, actually you are free to do it every single day of your life, but in this particular twenty-four hour period it will be treated as something completely common and you can just blame it on celebrating a holiday. Well, coincidentally, it’s a day that lands on the same time as the carnival. We should feast, eat richly and celebrate. After that time we will be subjected to fasting. Although it’s just a tradition, many tend to preserve it.

The real question everyone is asking, though, is when does the day when it’s proper to consume great amounts of goodies fall? Well, that depends on the place where you actually find yourself. In France they call it Mardi Gras (they always have their own names for everything, they love being unique) and it is the last Tuesday before Lent, as it is in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, where you will probably more commonly hear ”Pancake Tuesday”. Yes, you are getting the hang of it. The name comes from the love of pancakes. On this Tuesday it is permitted to eat dozens of them with rivers of maple syrup on top, without snarky comments from disgusted onlookers.

In Poland you will consume sweet things a few days before, as we celebrate our very own “Fat Thursday” before Ash Wednesday. We have our traditional dessert delicacy, called „pączki”, which has no correspondent in the English language. Sometimes people use the word „doughnut” in reference to our sweet product, but they are far from being the same. Pączki are deep-fried pieces of dough shaped into flattened spheres and filled with confitures or other sweet fillings, while doughnuts are ring-shaped with a hole.

Some may think they are almost the same but I disagree. I prefer to believe that we have something in Poland that is unique. How about you? Are you a pancakes or pączki type of person? How many of them would you eat on the last day of carnival? Share your opinion in the comments section below!

(KT)

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