I know all the things that come to mind when you hear the word “prune” but this has nothing to do with indigestion. Though flavors like strawberry, cherry, and custard are among the most popular pączki fillings, I am totally serious when I say that prune is my favorite pączki flavor.

With the Lenten season upon us, it is officially pączki season in Michigan. I made a Meijer run the other day and almost completely forgot what time of the year it was until I was greeted by stacks of those traditional red boxes that filled the bakery.

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What is Pączki?

A polish delicacy, pączki (ponch-key)are deep-fried pieces of dough that are often covered in powdered sugar and have a sweet fruit filling. Though they appear to resemble any typical jelly-filled donut, pączki differs in that they are made from an especially rich dough of eggs, fat, and sugar.

I always associate pączki with Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras but according to Wikipedia, “In Poland, pączki are eaten especially on Fat Thursday, the last Thursday prior to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.” Either way, it’s an excuse to indulge before you have to give everything up for 40 days straight!

Prune is the Best

Up until recently, I had been living in southwest Missouri the last several years. Although there is a large Polish population in the St. Louis area, it did not reach down to the Southwest corner of the state where I was living in Springfield. That's all to say that although pączki did make an appearance in stores prior to Ash Wednesday, they weren't plentiful. By the time I made it to the store and saw those classic red pączki boxes, the only flavor that was left was prune. Cherry is typically my favorite filling but after years of arriving late to the party I grew to love prune-filled pączki!

Now that I am back in Michigan and there is pączki galore, I'm able to find every flavor but the prune filling that I have come to enjoy so much. It's bizarre but true! Do you know where I can find prune pączki in the West Michigan area?

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