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7 places to find hamantaschen and other Purim goodies

Beginning at sunset, Saturday, Feb. 23, area Jews will celebrate the festival of Purim, perhaps the most boisterous on the Jewish calendar, a Mardi Gras-like celebration marked by costume parties and gift giving. As with many Jewish holidays, Purim commemorates yet another occasion when somebody tried but didn’t quite succeed to wipe out the Jews […]

Two days to celebrate paczki in Chicago!

In Poland, today is Tlusty Czwartek or Fat Thursday, otherwise known as Paczki Day (say “POONCH-key”). In the U.S., though, many Poles celebrate on Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Mardi Gras, which will be next week. Chicagoans are lucky — we get to observe both days! Thousands of Polish Chicagoans as well as other pastry […]

Mardi Gras? In Chicago, prepare for Paczki Day!

Other cities go all out for Mardi Gras, but here in Chicago, Louisiana-style celebrations and Latin-American Carnivale fiestas take a back seat. In our town, the Tuesday before Lent, this year March 8, is Paczki Day! Here are a dozen spots for Polish pastry perfection.

Chicago ushers in the Atomic Age — and its cake

In 1942, on a squash court in Hyde Park, Enrico Fermi and his colleagues cooked up an “atomic pile,” a roughly spherical stack of graphite bricks layered with uranium. With this pile, on Dec. 2, the physicists achieved the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, an event that led to the atomic bomb and nuclear energy.

At some point after that, an enterprising Chicago baker dubbed his latest layered creation the “atomic cake.”

Relishing Chicago’s 10 funniest hot-dog joints

Every neighborhood in Chicagoland has a hot-dog stand, a gyros place or an Italian beef joint. Often, the menus aren’t much different from one to the next — typically encompassing all three Chicago favorites.

So how do you tell which is which? By the sign outside!

In Chicago, Mardi Gras is Paczki Day!

In New Orleans, the Tuesday before Lent, this year Feb. 16, culminates a riotous season known as Mardi Gras. Here in Chicago, some celebrate Louisiana-style, but to a million or so Chicagoans, Fat Tuesday is Paczki Day (say “POONCH-key”). They’ll be lining up at bakeries to buy dozens of rich, plump Polish-style jelly doughnuts, and […]