I’ve heard of Fat Tuesday and even celebrated it many times. Yet, it took visiting Poland for me to learn about Fat Thursday.
My visit to Poland (another Never B4) last week was extremely brief, 2 days in Warsaw tacked on to a 10-day trip in Hungary. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see much of Warsaw, not only because of my short stay, but also because it snowed the entire time I was there.
I did get a chance to learn a bit about Fat Thursday though and more importantly, indulge in a few of the delicacies that Pols cherish only on this holiday.
Before I get to that, here’s the scoop on Fat Thursday: it is a Catholic feast holiday that celebrates the last Thursday before Lent (40 days of fasting). It’s a movable holiday and the only thing consistent about its date is that it’s always a Thursday. They say it’s different from Fat/Shrove Tuesday but honestly, the only difference I saw was that there was more eating and less drinking.
Speaking of eating, Fat Thursday is the day that Pols gorge themselves on 'pączki' (pronounced: pontchkee) and faworki.
The first is essentially a donut with a fruity filling and a sugary glaze on the outside. Platefuls were served at the office and I happily joined the feast.
My feasting continued into the evening with a wonderful meal and then a plateful of pączki, another Polish Fat Thursday pastry that reminded me a lot of the extra pie crust bits my mom used to bake for me and may brother’s and sisters when we were too young to indulge in a full piece of apple pie. The Polish version was coated in confectionery sugar and delicious, albeit way too plentiful for one person to eat.
Even though I didn’t get the chance to see much of Warsaw, I’m glad I got the chance to experience these special Polish treats.
As for Fat Tuesday, I think I'll skip that feast this year. After all these pastries, 40 days of fasting sounds pretty good to me right now.