We came home laden with a box of paczki today.
I’d completely forgotten about these sweet pre-Lenten treats until I moved back to the area. Twenty-odd years of living a paczki-free existence: don’t you pity me? Well, you shouldn’t; they’re fairly nasty, and even as a kid I don’t remember eating them but once or twice. But buying them and bringing them home, well, this is a little something I can give to my daughter as a bit of local food history. And…we’re not even Polish.
I do swear if I lived to be 200 and could have 5 or 6 job paths along the way, “food ethnologist” would be one of the careers I would love to have. Wouldn’t that be fascinating? Limning the fact from the fiction, the tradition from the myth from the actual reason a food was eaten? I have always been interested in that great Venn diagram of intersection between land, people, and religion/myth/culture: there can be a fun mash-up when it comes to food.
And participating in eating that food can be fun: kind of like world travel without the burdensome passports and vaccines and pesky TSA involved. And: there’s something SO unifying to me when you know a whole bunch of other someones are doing the same thing as you (i.e., bringing home a box of paczki), at the same time.
Even if the food is gross. (The chickens, though, disagreed.)