Madeline Crocenzi

As the daughter of a Pennsylvania Dutch woman, Fastnacht Day is basically my Super Bowl. If you haven’t taken part in this Central PA tradition, here’s a quick history. “Fastnacht” is a German word meaning the night before the fast and Fastnacht Day takes place on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the time when Lent begins.

According to Pennlive, Pennsylvania Dutch women made fastnachts (doughnuts) with the leftover fat in their homes to use it before Lent. Now it’s basically a day to eat as many fastnachts as you can before the self-deprivation of Lent starts.

Even if you’re not Pennsylvania Dutch, you can still take part in this holiday also affectionately known as Fat Tuesday. Here are five places close to Messiah you can find fastnachts this Tuesday:

  1. Pennsylvania Bakery

This Camp Hill bakery has plain, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, granulated sugar and glazed fastnachts. For the more indulgent person, you can splurge on a fastnacht cupcake that literally has a piece of a fastnacht on top of a fastnacht flavored cupcake.

  1. Cornerstone Coffeehouse

Located right down the street from Pennsylvania Bakery, Cornerstone Coffeehouse will also be selling homemade fastnachts this year. Grab yours to go with a Cupid’s Arrow mocha, a February special.

  1. Karns, Giant, Wegmans or Weis

While students in apartments are stocking up on food for the week, you might as well grab a fastnacht at one of these four locations. If you’re feeling really ambitious, Karns is selling a 48 fastnacht tray for just $25. A sugar rush has never been more of a bargain.

  1. Ciao! Bakery

Make the quick drive to Harrisburg and stop at Ciao! Bakery. This year, the bakery is selling not only fastnachts but the popular king cakes. However, it’s recommended that you pre-order these homemade fastnachts by calling 717-724-0236.

  1. Lottie Nelson Dining Hall

You didn’t think I’d forget one of the greatest places to eat a fastnacht, did you? Put those dining dollars to good use and stop at Lottie for a fastnacht and a tall glass of milk. It’s all you can eat, so make sure you get your money’s worth and maybe offer to swipe a poor apartment-dweller in to take part in the celebration.