Fat Tuesday


In recent years I’ve become quite good at not over indulging during what I call the “Candy Holidays”. In general if there is candy sold in specific colors to coordinate with the holiday, then it’s a Candy Holiday. Walking into the stores to an aisle of a specific color I have warning signals instantly going off and I maintain a perimeter shopping schedule until the color disappears. To my great surprise there was still a very specific “pants too tight” time of year. As I became wise to the grand holidays, overzealous, push to be fat campaign, I let my guard down to simpler attacks; Valentine’s Day, my wedding anniversary and Fat Tuesday. My trick with Valentines Day is easy because I can do chocolate covered strawberries. This snack is always luscious and always satisfying. My anniversary can be a win or lose diet wise just based on how things are. This year the splurge was free Alaska salmon from my brother-in-law. No problem there! So that leaves the devious, overly sneaky paczkis sold for Fat Tuesday. We normally get our paczkis from L&L, which unfortunately went out of business back in January. I normally am not a huge fan of these fruit or crème filled doughnuts. The filling is usually a big clump in the very center and the dough part usually seems dry to me. But, I make the buy every year for the kids. This year I decided to try a different route. Using my adventures in walking, I checked my portable Lansing map and found my perfect destination for this year’s paczkis; Roma Bakery. Why have I never thought to try this out before is beyond me. I think I usually put the purchase off until we’re walking out of Meijer or L&L and the boys insist on grabbing a prepackaged, variety pack as we walk out the door. This time I had a different plan. I parked at the Lansing City Market just a block from my destination. My idea was that I would try the Market for a set of paczkis, walk down to Roma for some and then stop at Quality Dairy for a set of theirs and do a taste comparison. Unfortunately the Market didn’t have any vendors selling them. We then walked to Roma. We could see customers from a block away going in and out, most in cars, some on foot like us. I had never been to Roma’s before, despite knowing about it and their reputation as being a very good bakery. We entered with a crowd of 5 others; two moms trying to usher five kids through two doors, all anticipating greatness within. At the front there were pre ordered packs and packages of assorted varieties for purchase. But I followed the crowd to the back counter. Here they had large, clear containers filled with all the flavors and an employee waiting to arrange them into a to-go box. Our picks were raspberry, strawberry, cherry, chocolate crème, chocolate and Bavarian Crème. We paid our $5.25 and walked out of the store with a smile on our faces.
We then walked to Quality Dairy to check out their stash. They also had signs about their paczki surplus. Despite the workers being very friendly, they were not bonnet and apron wearing motherly European women. Also, these paczkis were self serve. There was a bit more selection and some were even glazed. At $4.69 for 6 it’s a tad cheaper too. As for taste, the QD ones had more filling than I remember and I do like the glaze, although I’m not sure that’s a typical paczki style. However the doughnut part was the normal drier type. The Roma set had a very soft doughnut and the fillings were amazing, despite the fruit flavors having a bit of a fake flavoring thing going on. The chocolate crème was the best paczki I’ve ever had! Next year will I succumb to the power of the paczki? Probably.

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