These lard-fried doughnuts are a Fat Tuesday staple. Fasnachts were made as a way for women to use up all the lard in the house before lent. They come from German and Pennsylvania Dutch culture and families would empty their cabinets of lard, sugar, and butter to make them. Then, they would splurge on the fasnacht the night before lent started (aka Fat Tuesday.)
Some of the recipes even call for mashed potatoes to make the doughnuts ever to slightly healthier. Considering all the lard that’s inside them, they can have up to 500 calories or more. They are often square-shaped without a hole. They real way to eat one is to fold it in half and cover it in molasses.
Fasnachts aren’t the only doughnuts eaten on Fat Tuesday. Paczki is a Polish doughnut eaten in the day before Fat Tuesday. It was originally made with pork fat and lard, but these days, they’re sweet and filled with marmalade. Mardi Gras is also known for beignets — they came from France to Louisiana and are one of the most popular treats during Mardi Gras season — as well as the rest of the year. Clearly, when it comes to celebrating Fat Tuesday, there are plenty of delicious fried foods to choose from.