We are just one week away from Fat Tuesday and many will be indulging in the rich, jelly-filled, Polish pastries called paczki. These donut-like treats are incredibly popular and come in many flavors like raspberry, lemon, and Bavarian cream, but our Michelle Oliver found some that are unlike the rest. She brought along local songstress, and friend of Live in the D, Tasha Lord, to travel around Metro Detroit to Find Your Fix for paczki.
The first place they traveled to is a paczki legend, New Palace Bakery in Hamtramck. Known for the long lines that wrap around their building into the wee hours of the morning on Paczki Day, this classic Polish Bakery has all the paczki flavors you could want. Tasha and Michelle tried their brand new Birthday Cake flavor, which features buttercream frosting and cake as the filling with rainbow sprinkles on top. Tasha likened the pastry to "riding a unicorn." Michelle commented that she loved the textures saying the rich, firm paczki dough acts as a nice balance to the sweet buttercream frosting while the sprinkles add a pleasant crunch.
They also tried their PB&J paczki which has a raspberry jam in the middle with peanut butter and peanuts on top. "I think I know how I want every peanut butter and jelly sandwich to be from now on," said Michelle. It tasted like a PB&J on fancy brioche-style bread, decadent and delicious.
Next up they headed to Warren to try the paczki at Tringali's Bakery. This Italian bakery is putting a unique twist on the Polish pastry, filling the donut with cannoli cream. "I feel like you can never get enough in a cannoli, but you get it in this," said Tasha. Michelle likened the paczki to a cloud, saying it was light and fluffy and soft.
The cappuccino cannoli cream paczki was another one they tried at Tringali's. Tasha loved it saying, "it's like paczki filled with ice cream." "The coffee flavor is subtle," added Michelle, saying it gave the cannoli cream a nice complexity.
Their final stop was at the Polish Market in Troy. This traditional Polish market specializes in finding authentic polish foods and treats, including paczki. Here Michelle and Tasha tasted some very traditional flavors, prune and rose hip. The prune one looked almost black inside and had a very deep, concentrated prune flavor.
Both Tasha and Michele loved the rose hip one, saying it made them feel like royalty. The rose hip had a floral flavor that wasn't overwhelming since it was nicely balanced by a citrusy taste Michelle guessed to be lemon. It was oddly refreshing for such a rich pastry.
Back in the studio, Michelle brought in some vegan paczki from The Nosh Pit for Tati Amare and Kim Degiulio to try. They all enjoyed them with Kim saying she wouldn't have been able to tell they were vegan.