Poradnik: How to eat a Polish doughnut
A Polish doughnut called pączek is what we would call in America a filled doughnut. It should be large and round, about the the size of your fist with a kind of domed top. The traditional filling should be rose jam, although you can get it with pudding, cream or adwokat. The doughnut should be glazed (glaze: lukier, glazed: lukrowane, z lukrem) and sometimes is drizzled with chocolate (z polewą) or dusted with powdered sugar. I don’t really like glazed doughnuts or rose jam for that matter, but I make an exception every year on FAT THURSDAY (Tłusty Czwartek). Fat Thursday is the last day to stuff yourself before the start of Lent and what better way to do it than with doughnuts.
My mother-in-law makes very good doughnuts without any glaze or sugar on top – just the way that we like them. When I say we, I mean my m-i-l and I. The kids love the glaze and if you leave your doughnut unattended, you will soon find that it has been de-glazed (odlukrowane) for you by some very precise little tongues. The same little glaze-covered faces will innocently declare, “to nie ja” when asked what happened to your doughnut. (it wasn’t me)
I have never dared to make doughnuts at home. Doughnuts are deep fried, and I don’t really know how to do it. The key is to cook them at the right temperature for the right length of time so that they are brown on the outside and cooked on the inside. Babcia Ewa used to make doughnuts for the church, and bless her heart, they were almost black on the outside and raw on the inside.
When you bite into a Polish pączek it should conform to your bite but then spring back to its original size and shape, sans your bite of course. Glaze will stick to your fingers and quite possibly your lips and chin. Some rose jam, best when not too sweet, may also drip out. On Fat Thursday, you have special dispensation to lick the glaze and jam off your fingers and smack your lips. You also have dispensation to eat like a glutton even boasting how many doughnuts you have consumed like a college boy bragging about how many chicks (laski) he has scored. TV reporters will do segments on the news about doughnuts and how many calories they have, but nobody really cares because they are so good and it’s only once a year.
Today at my first lesson, the secretary asked me, “Do you count calories?” I asked her if I looked like someone who counts calories which is in fact a trick question because however you answer, it can be construed as an insult. “Well,” she continued, “I don’t want to make a faux pas, but I’d like to bring you a doughnut.” I agreed with a big “thank you” and now I’d like to tell you the absolute best way to eat a doughnut. The absolute best way to eat a doughnut is on a plate with a cup of coffee delivered to you by a pretty lady while you are getting paid to eat it. Smacznego!
The inspiration for today’s post is this drawing by Andrzej Mleczko. I bought a copy of it and intend to hang it in the kitchen of my house. http://mleczko.interia.pl/
Polish Roll (Recipe)
1. We buy a big roll.
2. We inhale it as fucking fast as we can so nobody can take it from us.
PS I wanted to translate “adwokat”, but I couldn’t find the proper translation. It is a kind of egg cream alcohol and in doughnuts it is a pudding with that flavor. I thought that maybe I’d have better luck with “pączek z adwokatem” but instead Google translator gave me “bud with an attorney”. (pączek is also bud like flower bud and adwokat is also lawyer) Hee, hee.