Packing on the pączki pounds

Brittany L. Strachota

It may have been an Olin Monday today (ugh), but Fat Tuesday was in full swing.

Those of Polish descent may be familiar with pączki, extra rich filled doughnuts. Traditionally, they are eaten on either Fat Thursday or Fat Tuesday (more common in the US) to use up all the eggs, lard, sugar, and fruit before fasting during Lent. Basically, today was a fantastic excuse to pack on an extra handful of pounds.

A few fellow Polish food enthusiasts and I planned an excursion to the Baltic Deli in Dorchester, a rather Polish part of Boston, to get our pączki and pierogi. But just before we headed out, our dining hall staff unveiled a surprise.
A few days ago, Stefania, our favorite Polish dining hall cashier (really my Olin mother), suggested to Meghan ('12) that she fill out a dining hall comment card requesting pączki. Word then spread to me, so I joined in the mini-campaign, expecting nothing but a few laughs (and the early pączek that Stefania gave us on Monday).

Well, Dave, our dining services manager, decided the comments were worth something. This morning, sitting on the salad bar counter was a tray of homemade (still slightly warm) pączki, including plum, raspberry, and plain. The outer edges of the pastry were saturated with some form of grease; some had powdered sugar distributed over the top, others icing -- perfection.

Dave apparently started making the dough at 5:30am, and completed the rest of the tedious process in the Olin kitchen. Those familiar with the delight swarmed the counter, not bothering to leave the service area to stuff our faces. All were devoured before anyone could grab a photo, but here's some of my booty from the deli:

For the record, Dave's were better. Just one more reason to love our dining hall staff. Thanks for going the extra mile, guys!

Posted in: Class of 2013