Fat Tuesday traditions served up by the dozen at local bakery

Tim Jimenez
March 05, 2019 - 9:55 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — To celebrate Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent on the Christian calendar, many people flocked to a Northeast Philadelphia bakery for some traditional sweet treats. 

It's typical on Fat Tuesday for the line to be out the door at Haegele's Bakery in Mayfair. Their top sellers, without question, are the fasnachts.

Lisa, the very first person in line when Haegele's opened at 5 a.m., walked away with an order of eight-dozen of them.

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"Some in my house like just the cinnamon sugar. Some like the powdered. So, I get a mix of both," she said. 

No doubt about it, the German and Pennsylvania Dutch doughnuts are a hit. 

"I mean, they're very special doughnuts," said Steve. "You only get them once a year. They're sugary, sweet — and they taste great."

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This bakery has been around for 89 years. 

That's a lot of sweet moments for long-time customers like Sandy.

"I guess it's the childhood memories. Growing up and mom saying, 'Oh, tomorrow is doughnut day,'  and getting up, getting ready for school and the doughnuts being there. So, it's the tradition that you just carry on."

Customer Lisa said she feels a deep connection to the place. It's all about family.

"My grandmother, my mom, my sister and I. Even the kids. We're getting doughnuts to drop off at different houses on the way home, so they can take them to work," she said.

Not everyone has been visiting Haegele's for years.

"This is my first time coming here," said Colleen. "So, I heard about it and thought, 'Why not?'"

She came away with a box of a dozen fasnachts and, maybe, a new tradition.