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Hamtramck's Polish Village debuts paczki-pierogi concoction

February 16, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.
Teresa Wosiak fills dough with a strawberry mixture for a new paczki-pierogi dessert for the Polish Village Cafe, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, in Hamtramck, Mich. (Antranik Tavitian/Detroit Free Press via AP)

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. -- Encased in a traditional pierogi shell, covered in a buttercream glaze and brimming with raspberry jelly is Hamtramck's Polish Village Cafe's newest star.

For those unfamiliar, pierogi are essentially Polish dumplings, crescent-shaped noodle pockets with a soft casing that can be filled with meat, fruit or vegetables. Paczki, on the other hand, are akin to jelly donuts.

With the beloved Paczki Day -- also known as Fat Tuesday -- Polish Village owner Carolyn Wietrcykowski was brainstorming ideas to make this year special for enthusiasts when two words came into her head: paczki and pierogi.

"Those two words just came into my brain," Wietrcykowski said. "And I was like well, how do we make a pierogi taste like a paczki."

After putting raspberry filling inside a pierogi, and coating it in icing, they found the new concoction tasted surprisingly paczki-like.

"I was just thinking about all the different things that are happening and that I did want this Paczki Day to have something new so that it was exciting, because we wouldn't be able to provide the same thing we did in years past," Wiertrcykowski said. "So that was the kind of the inspiration and then those two words just came together. I was like what two better words are there: pierogi and paczki. I was like we got to figure out how to do this so that that was basically it."

Paczki Day, taking place today , is the Mardi Gras of historically Polish Hamtramck. The days-long celebration centering around the revered European donut has drawn thousands to the Wayne County city in previous years, packing hundreds into its bakeries and bars.

Like many traditions sullied by the pandemic, Paczki Day will look unfamiliar. In good fortune, the holiday will come weeks after indoor dining is permitted by the state, with limited capacity and curfews.

"You know won't be the same but sometimes not being the same makes you appreciate it, but it also makes you start a new tradition," Wietrcykowski said.

Paczki pierogi are available to order online at polishvillage.cafe. Orders of three retail for $6. Polish Village will join in the festivities and offer an outdoor space with heaters for customers, weather permitting.

Teresa Wosiak boils new paczki-pierogi desserts for the Polish Village Cafe, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, in Hamtramck, Mich. (Antranik Tavitian/Detroit Free Press via AP)
Teresa Wosiak boils new paczki-pierogi desserts for the Polish Village Cafe, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, in Hamtramck, Mich. (Antranik Tavitian/Detroit Free Press via AP)
Zofia Kuras drizzles a buttercream glaze over pan fried raspberry filled paczki-pierogi dessert for Polish Village Cafe on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, in Hamtramck. (Antranik Tavitian/Detroit Free Press via AP)
Zofia Kuras drizzles a buttercream glaze over pan fried raspberry filled paczki-pierogi dessert for Polish Village Cafe on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, in Hamtramck. (Antranik Tavitian/Detroit Free Press via AP)

Distributed by The Associated Press.

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