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It's Paczki Day! Get Your Sweet Treat Today

Today's the day for the famed Southland treat that signals the last day before Lent. Here's where in and around Mokena to buy the "poonch-key" and our best coverage from Paczki Days past.

Valentine's, Schmalentine's. Groundhog's Day, Schmoundschmog's Schmay. We in the Southland know the only day this month that matters is the one dedicated to the sweet, pillowy pastry known as the paczki.

Lucky for us, that's today.

The paczki, for those not in the know, is a doughnut-like Polish treat designed as a final fling before Lent, and a chance to get all the tempting goodies out of the house.

It's also big business, one of the busiest days of the year for local bakeries.

Watch video of Paczki Day 2011 from Mokena's Fleckenstein's Bakery.

Although there's some debate about whether Paczki Day falls on Fat Thursday, which was Feb. 16 this year, or Fat Tuesday, today, this is the day of choice for most bakeries.

Fleckenstein's Bakery sold the treat last week in addition to today, but Polonia Catering and Market is today-only for the paczki (pronounced poonch-key).

Some folks prefer to go beyond Mokena's limits for their pastries, going to places like Baumann's in Palos Heights, Orland Park Bakery in Orland Park and Zettlmeier's in Tinley Park.

And last year, several Patch editors even made themselves a little sick taste-testing them all.

We'll be out and about all day gathering photos, videos and other tales from Paczki Day 2012.

So what's your favorite paczki flavor? Which spot has the best around?

Sign up for a user account to share your thoughts below.

Catherine N February 12, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Best paczkis, hands down, the title goes to Creative Cakes in Tinley Park!! With flavors like bananas foster, turtle, atomic cake & maple bacon may"ham" along with traditional fruit paczkis they take the cake! Or the paczki as it were. I picked my order up at 7:30 this morning and I promise you there is no better way to start Fat Tuesday than with a paczki! (For those interested I had turtle!)

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