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A fasnacht
A powdered fasnacht

A Fasnacht, sometimes spelled Fastnacht or Faschnacht, is a fatty doughnut treat served traditionally on Fastnacht Day (Shrove Tuesday), the day before Lent starts. Fasnachts were made as a way to empty the pantry of lard, sugar, fat, and butter, which were traditionally forbidden during Lent.

Basel, Switzerland conducts an annual fasnacht festival. The Pennsylvania Dutch territory surrounding Lancaster, Pennsylvania, celebrates the custom as well. Most chain supermarkets in the eastern Pennsylvania offer fasnachts, although WalMart offers Pączki instead. The pączki is traditionally eaten in Poland on the Thursday prior to Fasnacht Day, although in Polish communities of the US, the tradition is more commonly celebrated on Fasnacht Day. Commonly pączki are round, rather than having straight sides, and they are filled with jelly, or sometimes creme filling.

In parts of Maryland, the treats are called Kinklings, and are only sold in bakeries on Shrove Tuesday. The German version is made from a yeast dough, deep fried, and coated or dusted in sugar or cinnamon sugar; they may be plain or filled with fruit jam. Pennsylvania Dutch fasnachts are often made from potato doughnuts, and may be uncoated, powdered with table sugar, or dusted with confectioner's sugar.

The term is synonymous with the Carnival season Fasnacht in southern Germany, Switzerland, Alsace and Austria. Although usually written "Fastnacht", there are many local spoken varieties: Fasnacht, Fassenacht, Fasnet etc.

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