As Lent approaches, doughnut shop overflows with fastnachts

February 20, 2012|By DAN DEARTH |
  • From left, Clara, Fred and Rudy Krumpe work into their eighth hour of making fastnachts Monday morning for Shrove Tuesday at Krumpe's Do-Nuts in Hagerstown.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Fastnacht Day is the one time of the year that Eldredge Henry visits Krumpe’s Do-Nuts in Hagerstown.

“I’m diabetic,” the Greencastle, Pa., resident said Monday. “This is one day a year I allow myself to splurge.”

Henry was among hundreds of people from the Tri-State area who steadily flowed through the doors of the doughnut shop at 912 Maryland Ave. to buy fastnachts, square pastries that come glazed, or covered with cinnamon or powdered sugar.

Fred Krumpe said Fastnacht Day is a tradition of the Pennsylvania Dutch, who baked the pastry as a way to celebrate the time leading up to the beginning of Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday.

“It was a time to pig out,” he said.

Bakers traditionally used all of their old flour and shortening to make fastnachts, Krumpe said. But the Krumpe fastnachts are more like large doughnuts with different spicing.

Krumpe’s started making fastnachts around midnight Sunday and continued into Monday, Krumpe said. They’ll only stop long enough to make the regular doughnuts the shop delivers daily to local stores.

Last year, they made a record 5,784 dozen fastnachts.

“We pretty much assume we’ll do that number this year,” he said.

Krumpe, 54, and his brother, Rudy Krumpe, 61, are third-generation doughnut makers.

Their grandfather, Rudolph Krumpe, started making doughnuts in 1934, Fred Krumpe said. Their parents, Max and Juanita, picked up the business in 1948. Krumpe’s has been at its current location since 1950.

During Fastnacht Day, the Krumpes recruit their family and friends to provide extra help in the bakery.

“It’s just a very fluid schedule,” Fred Krumpe said. “We won’t close the shop until Wednesday at 3 a.m. probably.”

As the staff prepared fastnachts in the back, customers entered steadily from the front. One of the regulars shouted, “Work a little faster,” while another stated the obvious by observing, “It smells like doughnuts.”

Hagerstown resident and doughnut lover Dan Sanders said he looks forward to fastnachts, and that buying from Krumpe’s helps support a local business.

“I have a craving for some good homemade doughnuts,” he said.

Bobby Plume, 16, said Monday morning that he never had a fastnacht.

“I’m looking forward to eating one,” Plume said, noting his expectations were high because his parents rave about the pastries. “I hope I like it.”

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