Many today are celebrating Fastnacht Day (or Fat Tuesday), but what is the meaning behind “Fastnacht Day”?

According to Wikipedia, Fastnacht Day (also spelled Fasnacht) is an annual Pennsylvania Dutch celebration that falls on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.  The name basically means “Fasting Night” in English.  According to German tradition, you are to eat the very best foods and lots of it before the Lenten fast begins.

What do  fastnachts look like and what are they made of?

Fastnachts come in various sizes but all resemble a “doughnut”.   Traditionally, they were made to use up the lard, sugar, butter and eggs  before Lent.  Basically they are a yeast-raised potato doughnut.  They are a little heavier than your standard type doughnut and not quite as sweet. They are also a bit crispy on the outside.   When I used to eat them, I always dipped them in powdered sugar, but you can dip them cinnamon or just eat them plain.