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Last Day for Paczki

By Stephanie Farrington
Berkshire Food
Melissa checks a student's dough for elasticity. Lisa Mendel samples the results. Gooey but so good.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, that means, if you follow Polish tradition, you'll be eating a lot of doughnuts today. But not just any doughnuts.

Paczki is a special jam or jelly-filled fried pastry made with butter and eggs in the dough. They're rich, light, delicious and most people have forgotten how to make them.

That bothered Lisa Mendel. Lisa is the organizer of the Polish cooking classes taking place once a month on Sunday mornings at the Polish National Alliance in Adams. She decided to ask Melissa Langenback, who teaches breadmaking at Different Drummer's Kitchen, to give a class on making the lighter-than-air treats.

So on a frozen February morning, a dozen ladies from the community gathered to learn to make paczki from scratch.

iBerkshires was there and thanks to the videography of local film maker Steven Borns, you can peek into a few of the steps that go into this pre-Lenten treat.

Of course you can eat paczki any time you can find them (try the Big Y) but if you want to be traditional, today's the day.

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Stephanie Farrington of Berkshire Food is contributing to our Eats blog — all about food, all the time. 


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