(above) The E.M. Chrusciki Bakery is known for their Buffalo angel wings, or chrusciki, which is a lightly fried sour cream-based dough that is cut, twisted and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
(above) The famed butter lamb is a Polish tradition and a symbol of spring in Buffalo.
Now you’re probably asking yourself “what the heck is Dyngus Day?” Believe me, I also asked that question when I first moved to Buffalo. I’m not Polish and neither is my husband, but you don’t need to be because everyone’s Polish on Dyngus Day!
Dyngus Day is a Polish-American tradition that takes place on the Monday after Easter to celebrate the end of Lent. There are a lot stories that attempt to explain the origins of the day, but since 966 A.D., Dyngus Day has been a celebration of the first king of Poland being baptized into Christianity, symbolized by the sprinkling of water. In more modern times, the tradition continued when farm boys in Poland wanted to attract members of the opposite sex. It became customary to throw water and hit the girls on their legs with pussy willows. The ladies would then get their revenge by throwing dishes & crockery at the boys on the following Tuesday.
With a large Polish population, Buffalo unofficially became the Dyngus Day Capital of America with the largest concentration of festival locations and live polka music. The Broadway Market, built in 1888, is located on the eastside of Buffalo in the historic Polonia neighborhood. Famed for its ethnic old world shopping atmosphere, the Broadway Market’s fresh food merchant base is comprised of family-owned, family-operated butcher shops, poultry stands, fruit/vegetable stands and bakeries and has become synonymous with Easter and Dyngus Day in Buffalo. It’s there that you can get butter lambs, polish sausage, perogi, chrusciki and lots of other Easter favorites.