Last night, as I was skyping with the lovely Amanda, I mentioned the glorious box of deliciousness sitting on my table, filled with Fasnachts.
And she had no clue what the hell they were.
Apparently, I tend to forget that not everyone lives in the middle of Amish/Dutch country.
These are fasnachts:
Fasnachts are an enormously big deal to the Pennsylvania Dutch community and the general area of Lancaster, Pa. My grandmother is the sole reason I have access to these sweet, buttery babies, since she’s the only one crazy enough to wait in line at a Catholic church for over three hours to get them. Bless that woman’s never ending patience.
The pastry is traditionally made the day before Lent starts, as a way to use up sugar, butter, lard, and other fats, so you’ll have less chance of caving. Once Amanda realized what the heck I was talking about, she talked about how they’re essentially like Paczki (Polish Donughts). Apparently, Paczki are filled with jelly or cream. Us Dutchies like to keep things simple, and are usually made one of two ways: with or without a powdered sugar coating.
As you can see, I prefer them without.
Pa Dutch food gets a bad rap for being bland and boring, but Fasnachts are the one thing that we really get right. And I mean, since another state has cornered the market on celebrating with copious amounts of liquor, brightly colored beads, and skin, why not ingest an immense amount of pastry? (Ben and I may have eaten 5 out of the 12 in less than a day. Whoops.)
Do you observe Lent? What are you giving up this year? Will you celebrate/indulge beforehand?