Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pączki and Dinner Rolls

Having failed at our recent attempt to locate authentic Russian/Ukrainian doughnuts (ponchikis and pampushkys, respectively) in Brighton Beach, Blognut resumes our International-Doughnut-Search and hits the East Village looking for the Polish version of our circular friend - the pączek (plural = Pączki).

Pączki are round, jam-filled doughnuts traditionally made in Polish homes to use up extra lard, fruit and sugar before Lent, during which these ingredients are forbidden. They are most commonly enjoyed on Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Lent). They are often topped with powdered sugar, icing or orange zest and are traditionally filled with marmalade made from fried rose buds (although prunes, lemons, strawberries, raspberries, and Bavarian creme are also commonly used).

While walking up First Avenue, Blognut spots a Polish Deli between 7th and 8th Streets which, if memory serves us correctly, was just called "Polish Delicatessen." We're excited to see a window full of pączki. Self-conscious of our Polish pronounciation, we step inside and order a "doughnut." On our way out we try and get a photo of the store front but are interupted by a talkative Polish man asking us for a dollar - he doesn't appear happy that we're taking photos. We give him a dollar and walk away.

Later in evening we unwrap our pączek and begin our feast - it looks, feels and tastes like a dinner roll. The thin band of strawberry jam in the center doesn't provide enough flavor to overcome the bland dough-ness of the rest of the pączki. Blognut does not want to jump to critical conclusions - we realize that the considerable cultural divide between Blognut and pączki most likely plays heavy in our dissatisfaciton. This dough-heavy creation can not meet the sugary expectations that come from growing up in the glazed-hungry United States.

Doughnut Score - NA

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