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Pennsylvania Dutch in the Coal Region Celebrate Fastnacht Day

We’re just not a big fan of Fastnachts.

We're just not a big fan of Fastnachts.

Today is Fastnacht Day here in Schuylkill County.

It’s a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch holiday celebrated on Shrove Tuesday.

Fastnacht literally translates to fasting night and by tradition, it means stuffing your face with some hearty and delicious foods ahead of a fast. And no matter what culture you claim, that typically involves doughnuts of some kind.

PA Dutch Celebrate Fastnacht Day

Around these parts, it’s typically an excuse to eat an extra donut at work or wherever you are on Fastnacht Day.

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But the traditional “donut” that you’re going to buy at one of the local shops isn’t a Fastnacht. That’s not to say there aren’t some shops that sell traditional Fastnachts. However, the one you’re probably eating today is much sweeter than the traditional PA Dutch treat.

Many Pennsylvania Dutch Fastnachts are made with a potato dough. And maybe it’s hearing that as a kid and it not registering that potatoes could be sweet is a turnoff to Fastnachts. So while we celebrate Fastnacht Day with our fellow Dutchies, we’ve got to pass on downing one of those rather heavy and not-sweet-enough doughnuts.

We much prefer the light and fluffy glazed donuts from Plain n’ Fancy.


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