Chicago bakeries churning out paczki for Fat Tuesday

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Diets are going out the window for Fat Tuesday. (WLS)

Diets are going out the window for Fat Tuesday and in Chicago, the day is synonymous with paczki.

The frenzy for fried dough got underway early Tuesday morning.

"It's kind of a tradition for is to come and get our paczki for the day. I get a dozen box, pass 'em out the rest of the day, always delicious and this is the best place to come," said Jason Oldham.

Dinkel's Bakery in the Lakeview neighborhood is churning out 27,000 paczki Tuesday, traditional Polish doughnuts, deliciously iced and filled with fruit or custard.

"Just in general, doughnuts are fantastic and a tradition in my life, so this is just extra special," said Melanie Neumeier.

It's Fat Tuesday, which means you will find Chicagoans lined up at bakeries all across Chicago to get their hands on these sweet treats.

"Paczki are a big deal, kings cakes are a big deal and we try to make people happy. That's what we gotta do," said Norm Dinkel, owner of Dinkel's Bakery.

Paczki are a popular indulgence for many before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.

"I'm Catholic. I was born Catholic, baptized and everything, did first communion and it's a tradition in my family," said Jose Cruz.

Katy Shafer has been coming here for years, now passing the tradition on to her daughter.

"It's a way to brighten up February I think. Something to look forward to in like the dreariest month in Chicago," she said.

So how many calories are in paczki? They have 450 calories or more, depending on the kind you get.
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