CHICAGO (WLS) -- Fat Tuesday is less than a week away, which means bakeries across the city are busy getting paczki orders ready to go.
Delightful Pastries, Chicago's largest producer of authentic Polish paczki, will begin to churn out over 40,000 house-made desserts for Paczki Day.
Dobra Bielinski, owner of Delightful Pastries, joined ABC7 Chicago Wednesday to explain what makes these pastries so unique.
Originally made to use up the lard and eggs that were prohibited during Lent, paczki are now one of the most popular sweet treats to enjoy on Mardi Gras.
Although they look similar to a donut, the ingredients in paczki make them quite different.
"The difference between a donut and a paczki is there's butter, there's milk, there's eggs, there's rum, there's vanilla, there's lemon oil, orange oil, and that typically is not found in a donut," Bielinski said.
The pastries are then deep fried and stuffed with a variety of fillings like jams or creams.
Each paczki is traditionally topped with a sugar glaze or rolled in fine sugar.
Delightful Pastries is accepting their final paczki orders on Feb. 7.
If you miss the deadline, there are plenty of other bakeries in Chicago serving the dessert.
Polish Paczki Café will be making paczki for two days straight to meet the high demand for the pastries. The café opened at 9 a.m. on Feb. 7 and will remain open until Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. More information can be found on their Facebook page.
Weber's Bakery in Garfield Ridge is serving up traditional paczki and specialty flavors such as cookies and cream and strawberry buttercream.
Pticek & Son Bakery is also located in Garfield Ridge. They have over 15 flavors of paczki, including cheese, apricot, prune and more. Their pre-orders close on Feb. 7.
Bridgeport Bakery also has a wide variety of the pastries on their menu with flavors like peanut butter and jelly, cannoli and plenty of fruit-filled options.
Alliance Bakery in West Town and Wicker Park will be accepting Fat Tuesday pre-orders until Feb. 10. Paczkis and King cakes will be available in-stores from Feb. 8 to Feb. 13 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Oak Mill Bakery's five Chicago-area locations will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 13 serving paczki while supplies last.
Racine Bakery is a family-owned Lithuanian and Polish Bakery located on the southwest side of Chicago. Their Fat Tuesday pre-orders are open until Feb. 10.
Laramie Bakery & Deli is known for its traditional Polish menu. They have over 20 types of paczki available. A full list can be found on their website.
Ideal Bakery is open for in-person and online orders of paczki. There are five flavors available to order online, and more to choose from in-store.
Kolatek's Bakery & Deli is accepting Fat Thursday and Fat Tuesday orders at both of their Chicago area locations. They are offering traditional paczki, and premium flavors like tiramisu and limoncello.
Wiklanski's Bakery in Belmont Cragin will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Fat Tuesday. They have 9 traditional flavors to choose from, which can be found on their Facebook page.