Tasty treat ushers in Mardi Gras

MARQUETTE – Paczki is a word you’re only likely to hear once a year – today.

These donut treats are traditionally eaten on the day before Ash Wednesday – Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras in French.

It’s a day when people indulge in rich fatty foods before fasting begins for the Lenten religious season.

Starting at 3 a.m. Monday, the employees at the Huron Mountain Bakery in Marquette were hard at work preparing these calorie-packed baked goods in preparation for today’s sales.

“Last year’s numbers showed we were 400 short of 14,000 paczki’s sold,” said Rachel Freeman, the manager at Huron Mountain Bakery. “This year we are planning on selling just as many.”

A traditional Paczki is deep fried piece of dough injected with a sweet filling and usually covered with sugar. The main difference between Paczki and a traditional donut is the amount of butter, eggs and sugar in the recipe, Freeman said.

Huron Mountain offers 10 a variety of flavors this year: black raspberry, blueberry, lemon, red raspberry, Bavarian, chocolate Bavarian (the most popular), prune (the traditional flavor), apple and cherry. The last two are new flavors this year.

Another area eatery, the Lagniappe in downtown Marquette, is also joining in the festivities today with a Mardi Gras brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a Fat Tuesday buffet from 4-9 p.m. Fast Eddie and Da Bones Man, along with U.P Gumbo, will perform live music from noon to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. The band E.B.R will perform from 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Matt Keiser can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.