The Raymond Reddington Travel Bucket List: Eat Paczki in Poland (No. 10)

Raymond Reddington of the American TV show The Blacklist is one of the smoothest and most well-traveled criminals — he did not only commit crimes around the world, but have also gotten to know the people, the food, and the culture of the places he’s been to. While I don’t necessarily want to travel the world as a fugitive, I doesn’t hurt to take note of Red’s travel tips and recommendations when visiting a specific country.

The Blacklist Season 2 Episode 2: Monarch Douglas Bank (No. 112)

Every episode of The Blacklist features a specific criminal on Raymond Reddington’s ‘blacklist’ where he tips the FBI on crucial information about them which mostly leads to their capture or death. Red’s character is so brilliant and cultured and he definitely knows how to get what he wants.

Oh, did I mention that the character that played Raymond Reddington also played one of my favorite The Office characters, Robert California?

Here is the episode plot:

Screencap from The Blacklist S02E02

The FBI was alerted to a robbery at the Monarch Douglas Bank in Warsaw, Poland, as its headquarters were located in the US headquarters and therefore under the jurisdiction of the FBI. Although nothing appears to have been stolen, the FBI believes the criminal transaction records were certainly targeted by the thieves. Upon reaching the bank, the FBI discovers that the real target is the kidnapping of an employee, Kaja Tomczak. Liz and Ressler locate Kaja, who explains that all banking records are stored in her head through her photo memory. She is actually trying to escape, as she is a virtual prisoner due to her value to them. Strickland, the bank manager, sends a team to retake it, but they are defeated by Samar Navabi, a Mossad agent. Red arrives and takes Kaja on his plane, and using the account number she gives him, deletes Berlin’s accounts. He meets Berlin and blackmails him in exchange for Naomi’s safe return. But the FBI froze those accounts. Red keeps the date of the swap, and the accounts have money in them (Liz arranged this), so Naomi is returned to him.

A paczki is a deep-fried dough ball shaped like balls and filled with jam or another sweet filling. Pączki is usually topped with powdered sugar, icing, frosting or some dried orange peel. A small amount of grain alcohol (traditionally adjusted wine) is added to the dough before baking; when it evaporates, it prevents oil absorption deep into the dough. Pączki are generally considered fluffy but slightly flattened, with a shiny band around them; These characteristics are considered proof that the dough has been fried in fresh oil.

Although they look like German (North American) marzipan or jelly donuts, pączki are made from a particularly rich dough containing eggs, fat, sugar, yeast and sometimes is milk. They come in a variety of fruit and cream fillings, and can be glazed or topped with granulated or powdered sugar. Powidła (cooked plum jam) and wild rose petal jam are the traditional fillings, but many other varieties are also used, including strawberry, Bavarian cream, blueberry, pastry cream, raspberries and apples.

Pączki has been known in Poland since at least the Middle Ages. Jędrzej Kitowicz describes that during the reign of Augustus III, under the influence of French cooks who came to Poland, the pączki dough was improved, so that the pączki became lighter, more spongy and firmer.

Polish Paczki. Image from

I have been to Poland, but I spent my time eating lots and lots of pierogi and Polish bagels. I wish I was able to try some paczki. Next time, Red! Perhaps I can also search Apolonia’s bakery. Haha.

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