How many paczki do you think Lansing consumes in the three weeks before Lent?
If you guessed enough to fill an entire Quality Dairy store, you'd be close.
If you get your paczki from one of the 28 Quality Dairy locations in the Greater Lansing area, your paczki are made in a plant near REO Town, where 5,400 of the jelly or creme filled pastries are produced each day of paczki season.
“Tens of thousands of paczki are produced every year, and it’s a 19-day selling period, so, it’s a lot in a short period of time,” said Phil Platte, marketing manager for Quality Dairy.
This year, QD’s started production on Tuesday.
Keeping with tradition, Bakery Manager John Lake said QD uses the same recipe they've used since the early ‘80s when production began.
“We acquired the recipe from a bakery in Hamtramck that was a Polish bakery,” Platte explained.
Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Mardi Gras or Paczki Day is Feb. 16 this year, the day before the beginning of Lent.
“I guess back when it first was created, it was a way of cleaning out lard and sugar and eggs that were in the pantries, before people went into the season of Lent. So, they wanted to get rid of those bad things from their cupboards so that during Lent they could fast,” Platte said.
Part of Platte’s role is deciding which flavors of paczki QD will sell each year, in addition to the 12 original flavors. This year, however, they asked the public to decide. The consensus on social media was a flavor called death by chocolate, coming to stores Feb. 3, and strawberry cheesecake, coming to stores Feb.10.
The satirical Twitter account “Lansing Facts” has suggested French onion dip. Platte said....maybe.
“We’ve had some discussion about it. I’m not sure if we would or not. It would just depend on if we could come up with the right savory profile for it.”
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