Mardi Gras is Tuesday! A big Fat Tuesday tradition is to indulge in what I call a SUPER donut, which most call Paczki (pronounced POONCH-key). Paczki are jelly or creme filled donuts (with no donut hole!) which are considered a treat just ahead of Lent, which is considered a time of sacrifice.

At Sweetwater's Donut Mill in Battle Creek, they make literally hundreds of Paczki to fulfill orders from the general public right around this time of the year. This week, Robert Nelson and I went behind the scenes with Sweetwater's manager - and Paczki baking expert - Ashley Lewnfield.

The Polish tradition was to want to purge the household of indulgences like sweets right before observing Lent.

"They would want to get rid of sugar, eggs, etc. [before sacrificing for Lent]...and this is what they came up with," Lewnfield said of the tradition.

Click the video above to learn a little about how Paczki are made.

Paczki fun fact: Even though in English we often add an "s" when we say "poonchkey" to denote the plural ("poonchkeys"), Paczki is actually the plural form of the word. The singular form of the word in Polish is Paczek, pronounced "POON-chek".

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