Paczki, sometimes stylized as Pączki, is a Polish pastry that finally found its way over here to the Pacific Northwest. But what are they and how are they different from doughnuts?

Well, they're not too different, really. Paczki (pronounced kind of like POUN-chkii) is a jelly- or custard-filled pastry, but seems to be maybe more dense than a standard jelly-filled doughnut. I think they're way better. Different ingredients, perhaps. I've also seen them glazed or maybe even drizzled with chocolate or covered with cinnamon and sugar. But most of the ones I've seen or heard of have all been coated with powdered sugar.

Also interesting to point out: Paczki Day is Fat Tuesday, which may explain if you see it pop up more now than you ever have before.

These have been a regional food, very popular in Michigan from what I understand, but are starting to pop up in Yakima! I saw them pre-packaged on the shelf in the bakery sections of Walmart and Fred Meyer recently. I won't be surprised if you see them pop up in other places. If you know of any more, tell us in the comments below.