February 23, 2009

Fat Tuesday/Fauschnaut Day

Apparently, not everybody knows what Fauschnaut Day is.

In parts of the United States, it seems to be Mardi Gras' forgotten stepsister. It is Fat Tuesday's long-lost pseudonym. A treasure buried in the closing wrinkles of time and geography.

Fortunately Fauschnaut Day is not completely forgotten, and it has enthusiasts like me to promote it. If you grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country or have German ancestry, chances are you know about Fauschnaut Day and should join in disseminating the fact of its existence tomorrow.

In layman's terms, it's a time to eat donuts.

Not donuts as we know them today, of course. A real fauschnaut has no hole in the middle and is made of potato dough. Typically it's sprinkled with sugar, too. They're rich, tasty and soak up all the saliva in your moth. Eat one with a glass of milk and you won't want to eat any fat for 40 days. (Which is close to the idea behind Fauschnaut Day -- it falls on the Tuesday before the beginning of the Christian season of Lent every year.)

After a glass of milk and a few minutes you'll be begging for another, though. The cycle will likely continue until the end of the day, when you'll feel bloated and worthless. But you'll have eaten a bunch of tasty treats guilt-free.

If you're isolated in some culture-barren locale that hasn't heard of this wonderful tradition, I'll give you a waiver allowing for the substitution of donuts instead of fauschnauts, as long as you make a sincere attempt to locate the real things. Join the holiday in spirit, if not in proper practice.

The important thing is that you try to practice Fauschnaut Day, even if you don't follow the religious tradition from which it grew. After all, it's practically a sin to disregard the opportunity to eat unhealthy pastries without shame.


  1. Alyssa7:59 PM

    I never buy donuts, but randomly today I did at DD with my coffee. So I'm glad I was actually following some sort of Fat Tuesday tradition. Thanks for the lesson in culture.

  2. Lois * : )11:17 AM

    For quite a number of years, I brought donuts to work for FAUSHNAUT DAY. Every year I had to explain, so I would just hang a poster on my wall...of course with Pennsylvania Dutch designs. They will miss me this year......retired!