Monday, March 4, 2019

Paczki Fever

Paczki  - Aldi $2.89
So, seemingly out of the blue, Paczki showed up on at Aldi.
Now, if you haven't heard of Paczki, you're not alone. I hadn't heard of them until a few years ago. From what I understand they are a polish dessert that is very similar to a doughnut, but richer, and they are usually eaten before the start of Lent. As I understand it, this is a last sugary hurrah that uses up all the not-so-Lent friendly ingredients in your pantry so you can indulge now and (ideally) won't be tempted later. 
Growing up in a mostly secular household, all of this was pretty foreign to me, but you don't have to observe Lent in order to enjoy this pastry, so let's give these a try! 
I found these on an end-cap new the check-out. Visually, they're not much to look at. We have a plastic clam-shell with a plain-looking red, white, and black label. The clear plastic allows the pastries to be the center of attention, but in my opinion, they don't look any different from a classic custard-filled doughnut from Dunkin. Since Paczki are trending right now, with the upcoming holidays, I decided to buy them in-spite of their lack-luster appearance. (Was that a mistake?)   
Once opened, they a typical creme filled doughnut. These smell like fried dough, sweet custard, and vanilla. The aroma is appealing, but it's certainly not unique. The scent is classic custard-filled doughnut. Maybe it'll taste richer or more complex?  
At first bite, I was immediately underwhelmed, but then after a few more bites...I graduated to full blown disappointment. The dough base is sweet, fluffy, and fatty. It kind of melts in your mouth, so texturally it's great, but flavor-wise it was so bland. When your doughnut is more texture than flavor, something is wrong. I thought the custard filling might help, but it too was rather bland and flavorless. It has the texture of vanilla pudding, and a bit of egg-y custard flavor, but again, it was mostly bland. This tastes sweet, like sugar, but not much else and while that isn't a bad thing, it certainly wasn't great. 
In the end, I feel like this was a waste of perfectly good calories. Oddly enough, my fiance was really into these. He liked the chewy doughy texture and that moist filling. I He thought they tasted much fresher and lighter than most cream filled doughnuts you'd buy in a grocer store, and I can see that. The filling and doughnut weren't overpowering, that's for sure, and and when you compare that to the sometimes crusty sugar bomb doughnuts you can buy in grocery bakeries, it makes sense that this more bland version would be so refreshing by comparison. This wasn't the best doughnut he'd ever eaten, but for a store-bought pastry he was pleasantly surprised.  
These are pretty okay doughnuts, and would pair nicely with coffee or tea, but as a stand-alone treat, I consider these a fail. (But to be fair, my fiance would buy these again in a heartbeat, he liked eating one for breakfast with a cup of green tea.) It all depends on your personal tastes, but I'd say you should get your Paczki fix elsewhere. 
In case you missed it, I posted a few stash-busting gum reviews over on my Instagram. I'm hoping to do a few of these each weekend to make myself less of a food hoarder. Check out my NEW Quik Review section.  
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  1. "I feel like this was a waste of perfectly good calories." That's the worst feeling, but it could have been worse. They might have been a really expensive product too! (ie, it's bad enough to waste calories, it's worse to waste calories and cash!)

  2. I loved the Aldi Village Bakery Paczk and wish I could buy them year around! If I could order them on line I would.

  3. Your out of your mind-
    best damn dough nuts ever-
    Now we cannot find them

  4. I just picked these up a local grocer called Ken’s Market and I agree with everything you said. We bought the raspberry filled variant. The dough itself had a fresher, delicious texture that I will definitely crave in the future, but the flavor was so lackluster. The jelly was oddly pink rather than the deeper red I would expect from reducing cooked raspberries down and I would prefer even just a touch more sweetness to the jelly and the doughnut itself. So sad because I LOVE the dough :(