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Fasnacht Day is February 13th – What is Fasnacht Day?

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What are fasnachts and what is the fascination that Pennsylvanians have with them?

Fasnachts Bird-in-Hand BakeryIt goes back to the mid-1700’s with the influx of Swiss and German immigrants to what is now known as PA Dutch Country, who brought with them traditions from the Old World.  Lent, the six weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter, is one such tradition that is observed.  Christians would abstain from eating lavish, fattening foods in order to prepare for Easter.

On the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, known as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, the wives would use up the lard and butter in the house by making fried dough treats called fasnachts (sometimes spelled fastnachts), which in German means “the night before the fast”.  In parts of Maryland they are called Kinklings and are only available in select bakeries.

Fasnacht Variety Bird-in-Hand BakerySimilar to donuts, but denser and less sweet, fasnachts can be made with yeast, potatoes or baking powder.  Fasnachts come in both square and round shapes.  Some bakeries make them with a hole, like a donut, for more even cooking and easier handling, but diehard traditionalists say that true fasnachts do not have a hole.

Although eaten plain with the original recipe, the modern sweet tooth may prefer them glazed, powdered or sugared.  You might ask if the plain fasnachts are healthier.  In a word, no.  Whether plain or topped, a fasnacht contains nearly 250 calories, 12 grams of fat and 24 grams of carbs. Once you’ve tasted one, it’s hard to stop there.  But that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?  What better way to get the fat out of the house than to eat it?  Some people believe that eating a fasnacht is good luck, and what better or tastier way to celebrate?

Too busy to stop off at a bakery to pick up fasnachts?  Fasnachts and coffee will be available at the Fasnacht Drive-thru at Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe from 6 am to 9 am on February 13 – curbside service without leaving your car.  They will be available inside the Bakery from 6 am to 6 pm.

Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Café
2715 Old Philadelphia Pike
Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505

Find other Lancaster County Bakeries and Bake Shops where you can find fasnachts and other freshly baked goods.

*Post submitted by Kenn BennettBird-in-Hand Corp.