Not long ago, we were planning a trip to western New York State to visit Beth’s mom. Beth turned to me and said “It’s Lent so we can get Fasnas”.

“Get what?”, I asked, tentatively probing my ear canal for excess wax. Either she was mumbling that last word or (more likely) my hearing was failing me.

“Fasnas,” she repeated, as if she expected me to know what that meant.

It turns out that “Fasna” is how the natives of Williamsville, NY pronounce “Fasnacht”. According to Wikipedia, a Fasnacht is “a fried doughnut of German origin served traditionally in the days of Carnival and Fastnacht or on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent starts.”

So we went to New York and got Fasnachts at Paula’s Donuts where they are made fresh daily between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

They’re pretty wonderful. Sort of like a cross between a homemade donut and the fried dough you get at county fairs. They’re quite addictive, and of course you have to eat them all at one go because they’re only good when they’re absolutely fresh – which is true but seems to be primarily an excuse to make multiple trips to Paula’s in the same 24 hour period.

So I at my first Fastnachts ever in my 56 years on the planet and they were delicious and I only regret the massive fat and sugar intake a little bit. But…

32 Years.


I have spent thirty two years with this woman. We have laughed, cried, bought two houses, and made two human beings together.

And never in all that time was I made aware that Fastnachts existed, indeed were available at a donut shop no more than 5 minutes from Beth’s childhood home.

Western New York has lots of great local foods. I’ve been introduced to Buffalo Wings, Teds Hot Dogs, Mighty Tacos, Roast Beef on Weck, and Sponge Candy, all of which I love.

But not Fasnachts.

Not until now.

What else is she keeping from me?

I’m troubled.