This Tuesday Is Fat Tuesday which means many may be trying to squeeze in some last minute treats.
At Smurawa’s Country Bakery in Pulaski, Fat Tuesday and Paczki Day is celebrated every year.
Employees were up early working hard to fill the Paczkis , which are like a donut type treat filled with various flavors of jam or icing.
Fat Tuesday has been celebrated for years around the time christians get ready for lent.
At Smurawa’s they say it helps keep their Polish heritage alive by celebrating Fat Tuesday.
People come here for a Paczki all the way from Illinois, and the U.P, and of course all over northeast Wisconsin.
The bakery has been making the polish pastry for over 85 years and last year over they served over 30,000 pastries on this day.
Tuesday is Mardi Gras which is also known as Fat Tuesday.
That means many people in the region will likely be devouring some tasty treats before Ash Wednesday.
Local five’s Elsa Robins was at a local bakery as they opened their doors for Paczki Day on Tuesday morning and explains what the day is all about.
Fat Tuesday is celebrated in countries around the world and at Smurawa’s Country Bakery in Pulaski that celebration is well underway.
“It’s a celebration of our Polish heritage, a sharing of a family recipe that’s phenomenal that’s been in the family for decades,” says Greg Smurawa, owner of Smurawa’s Country Bakery.
Paczki recipes at the bakery have been passed down from generation to generation with the oldest at the bakery nearing 100 years old.
“I do remember the original recipe had like a three cent cake of yeast and the size of egg was based on the breed of chicken,” says Smurawa.
Last year Smurawa’s sold over 30,000 paczkis.
Each one is filled with one of the bakery’s 19 different fillings.
“It’s just not an ordinary filled donut. It’s very rich, the filling is great. Just top notch stuff,” says Robert Betley who has played music at Smurawa’s on Paczki Day for the past twelve years.
Owners of the bakery say paczki’s were made in the past so kitchen items, like sugar and flour, would be used up and the temptation to bake sweets during lent would lessen.
“You enjoyed paczki knowing that in 40 days it would be easter and that was your last big celebration before easter,” says Smurawa.
Now the Smurawa’s say it’s all about keeping traditions alive.
The bakery will be open until 8 PM on Tuesday.