OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Mardi Gras is in full swing in New Orleans. Fat Tuesday has evolved into a last minute calorie binge before Lent. But, you do not have to travel far to enjoy the tradition. 

“I am happy that we were able to join. The food is fantastic. It is an opportunity that you just do not have in Oshkosh because you just do not have these ethnic foods. This is delicious” says Joby Reigel, digging in at the UW Oshkosh Taste of Nations. 

The event transported campus and community members to the big easy through sound and smell.

“I got a little bit of a Louisiana blood line that runs through me. I was not going to miss this opportunity to have some yummy jambalaya and other Cajun goods” says Timber Smith. 
 
Across town at Tamara’s Cakes, it is paczki drawing a crowd. 

“It is tradition you have to” says shopper Stacy Steinike. 

Traditional fruit filled polish pastries share shelf space next to gourmet creations. Paczki plump with peanut butter and cookie dough. 

“Well first off I just came from the dentist so I have to punish my teeth somehow” says Iaan Bartlett. 

The traditional paczki recipe is filled with sugar, lard and eggs. It was created to use up forbidden ingredients before the season of Lent.
 
Many people still chose to give something up. 

“I usually do” says Stacy La Course from Oshkosh. “Lets see in the past I have tried to give up cursing” she says with a laugh. 

But, for the rest of Fat Tuesday, people plan to indulge. 

“I am going to have another cup of whatever this crawfish soup is. This stuff is amazing” Smith says. 

The New Orleans feast at UW Oshkosh is part of a series called Taste of Nations. Click here for more information.