Why we love the decadent fried dough brought to Cleveland from Polish immigrants.
Come the dawn of the Lenten season, when Fat Tuesday is upon us and the prospect of a solid month-plus without sweets stretches for what feels like an eternity, nothing feels quite as decadent as a paczki. The circles of enriched dough, deep-fried until golden-brown and emblazoned with a distinctive light-colored ring around the center, are often filled with fruit jellies or dusted with sugar. They’re sweet on the tongue, heavy in the stomach and make you feel warmer than a babushka’s hug. Paczki were brought to Cleveland by Polish immigrants, and remain so popular among Clevelanders that the Dyngus Day lines at paczki-mongers, such as Rudy’s Strudel, Breads and Beyond and Seven Roses Polish Deli, still stretch out the door.