Bakery Delite in Plains Twp. had a non stop line of customers on Fat Tuesday. cv14bakerydelite Warren Ruda / The Citizens’ Voice>
WARREN RUDA / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Carol Nicholas of Courtdale buys a king cake every year at Bakery Delite in Plains Twp.Lightbox link Lightbox link Lightbox link Lightbox link
Annette Kosmach started making pastries at 9 p.m. Monday and continued filling them Tuesday morning.
She was among the workers at Bakery Delite in Plains Twp. who worked overnight making thousands of treats. The treats included about 4,000 Polish pastries called paczkis and about 2,000 German doughnuts called fastnachts as well as hundreds of beignets and king cakes.
All the preparation was for Fat Tuesday, a day when people are encouraged to indulge.
It was the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, a fasting period for Christians, and one of the busiest days of the year for bakeries.
“Christmas is a whole month of busy, and Easter is a week or so, but this and Thanksgiving are among the busiest single days of the year,” said George Blom, co-owner of Bakery Delite.
Paczkis and fastnachts were the most popular sellers, Blom said.
Fourteen different types of filling go into paczkis and some of the most popular include angel cream, strawberry cream and Bavarian cream, Kosmach said. Other fillings include strawberry, blueberry, cherry, lemon, pineapple, apricot, peach and prune.
Customers started arriving at Bakery Delite on Fat Tuesday as early as 4:30 a.m. and the bakery was busy throughout the day.
One of the customers, Carol Nicholas of Courtdale, bought a king cake and she said it’s a tradition for her to pick one up each year on Fat Tuesday for her family.
“They always look forward to a king cake,” Nicholas said.
Part of the tradition of the cakes, with green, yellow and purple frosting, is to put a plastic baby Jesus inside.
“We hide the baby inside the cake, and the coin inside the cake, and we cut it up and whoever gets the coin mostly has a good year,” Nicholas said.
King cakes are “huge” in New Orleans for Mardi Gras parties and they’re starting to become more popular in the area, Blom said.
The staff at Minooka Pastry Shop in Scranton made more than 100 king cakes and about 550 dozen paczkis for Fat Tuesday, said owner Bob Zakreski.
The day required a great of preparation including ordering all the supplies and rounding up extra help, Zakreski said. Typically, about 10 people work at the pastry shop but an extra five were added for Fat Tuesday.
The pastry shop started selling paczkis a month ago but a third of sales occur on Fat Tuesday, he said.
Customers started lining up before the shop opened at 7 a.m. and it was a “continuous stream of business” all day, Zakreski said.
“It’s one of the busiest days of the year. Today looks a lot like a day around Christmas,” he said. “Everything is selling today.”
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