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.
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.
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?