Fat Tuesday is just around the corner, and it's not too late to order paczki and have a last big caloric blowout before Lent (or simply take advantage of the day). I'm not a huge fan of jelly doughnuts. Most of the time they are too sweet with very little flavor. I want real fruit, not artificially flavored gel, or a real custard. And a real dough with flavor, not just some fried tasteless bread. A good paczki has both of these.
If you're in the Ann Arbor area and you're looking for authentic paczki — not those American jelly doughnuts slathered with too much frosting repackaged with a new name (I'm not picky at all, am I?) — put in an order at Copernicus European Delicatessen. They will be bringing in paczki from a Polish bakery from Hamtramck.
You can choose from a wide variety, including ones with traditional plum and rose-flavored fillings as well as bavarian cream, lemon, strawberry, and raspberry. This Tuesday they'll be opening an hour early — 8am — for paczki pickup. I recommend placing an order to reserve yours, and your order can be as small as just one or two. (If it's just one, it's a "paczek." And no, I don't know how to pronounce that either.)
Copernicus European Delicatessen
617 S. Main St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
In past years I got my paczki from Amadeus, but this year I called to check and they are not making them. If anyone knows of other places in the AA/Ypsi area that offer the real deal, please let us know.