Polish or not, if you're a Buffalonian, you know Paczki Day. It's almost as exciting as Dyngus Day. But since that's a couple months away, today, we're gettin' down with the donut!

This is my first year back in WNY for this sweet-treat-based holiday, so the paczki was new to me (though I'm originally from Jamestown, this WNY tradition never really made it to me there. We were more of a Swedish/Greek-oriented town). But I'm thrilled to experience my first from the best!

Pumpernick 'N Pastry

Pumpernick 'N Pastry came by with boxes of these amazing pastries today. Yes, they're delicious. But just what IS a paczki?

Pronounced "poonch-key," the Polish sweet good isn't just another jelly donut. It's a premium, super-rich, yeast-raised and jelly-filled (usually black raspberry) pastry. It was traditionally the item eaten to mark Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) as the last "blowout" before Lent.

Today falls at just the right time, as I'm allowing myself one last "blowout" in eating this kind of thing. I visited my doctor yesterday, and while I've known I need to lose 20 pounds to get back into "fightin' shape," stepping on that horrible, rickety doctor's office scale confirmed it. Something's gotta give!

So celebrate with me, one last day, before I resolve myself to protein shakes and rabbit food. Happy Paczki Day!

<3 LD

P.S. Pumpernick 'N Pastry is upping the ante, with the "World's Largest Paczki" on display at their Kaisertown store at 2059 Clinton Street in Buffalo. For a $1 donation, guess the weight of this giant pastry and have a shot at a $50 gift card and a custom-made gift basket! All proceeds from the contest go to the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life". A winner is announced today...so go make your guess this morning!