The beginning of Lent is just a month away and that means it's Paczki season. The arrival of these delicious delicacies is a sure sign of Spring in any Polish community, including most of Cleveland and northeast Ohio. Paczki
(pronounced "punch-key") are jelly-filled, deep-fried pastries, dusted with powdered sugar (something like American jelly doughnuts), and are traditionally served the Thursday before Ash Wednesday
. In America, the delicious pastries start appearing in bakeries and neighborhood food stores about a month in advance. They've already made an appearance in the grocery store all the way out here in Geneva.
Cleveland's Slavic Village offers a wonderful selection of paczki. Try the Seven Roses Deli, on Fleet Avenue.
If you're really ambitious and want to try making your own paczki, Barbara Rolek over at About.com's Eastern European food site has an excellent Paczki recipe