For people around northeast Ohio, Fat Tuesday is Paczki Day, celebrated with Polish donuts

PARMA, Ohio - People around Northeast Ohio are flocking to bakeries on Tuesday to buy the beloved pastry, the paczki.

Colozza's Bakery, on Ridge Road in Parma, is one of the better known makers of paczki.

"Paczki Day at Colozza's Bakery is my favorite day," said customer Valerie DiCamillo, who bought two dozen. "They're like Heaven in a little ball. They're fabulous."

Paczki are a traditional Polish pastry, in which a ball of deep fried dough is filled with a fruit or cream filling. The pastries became popular in Cleveland due to the city's large Polish community.

In northeast Ohio, people buy paczki on Fat Tuesday, the day before Fat Wednesday. But in traditional Polish culture, paczki are eaten on Fat Thursday.

Originally, Polish people made paczki because baking them used up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit, which are indulgences often forbidden during Lent.

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