BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Many community leaders enjoyed a tasty lesson about Croatian history and heritage on the Coast. One of the highlights was learning the secrets behind a traditional Christmas treat, pusharatas.
The treat is a sweet, fruit-filled doughnut that is rich in Croatian culture.
"We call it our Yugoslav delicacy. Any special occasions, we usually have pusharatas on the table," one auxiliary member explained.
On Wednesday, the Slavonian Ladies Auxiliary held a special cooking class at the Slavonian Lodge in east Biloxi to introduce the current Leadership Gulf Coast class to pusharatas.
"They're very good for one thing. They're hard to make, but it is part of the Croatian heritage, the ladies and men in Biloxi, and we'd love for them to learn how to make them," said Slavonian Ladies Auxiliary President Faye Misko.
"My goodness, the pastries are incredible. The history, I guess, is family, handing it down and then making it and distributing it and giving it to us," said Kelli Lyons.
Sharing the recipe and giving others a taste of its history is a labor of love for the ladies.
"Oh, my God, I've never heard of that in my life, but it's the best thing I've ever eaten. It's really awesome," said Tawana Banks.
It is also traditional to place orders early, as the glazed goodies always sell out around Christmas. The ladies started selling pusharatas as a fundraiser for scholarships in 1984. In 2015, they sold nearly 14,000 of the fried pastries and had a long waiting list.