Fritters, beignets, croquettes. Fried dough right? So what’s the ****ing difference?
The answer is: as far as I can tell the difference essentially lies only in preparation. I recently picked up a back copy of Bon Appetit magazine citing a few places across the nation where you could pick up a delectable variety of fried doughs embellished with an endless variety of savory and sweet goodies.
BEIGNET: French for “fried dough.” A pastry made from deep fried dough and sprinkled with sugar, although savory versions of beignets also exist. In France, beignet is an umbrella term for a large variety of pastries made from deep-fried dough with fruit or vegetable filling.
CROQUETTE: A small cake/ball of minced meat, fish, or vegetables and coated in breadcrumbs – sometimes with a filling – then deep fried. From the French “croquer” (“to crunch”).
FRITTER: Any kind of food coated in batter and deep fried. The word comes from the Latin “frīctūra” (“frying”).
[So I guess clamcakes and crabcakes are actually croquettes? And tempura is essentially a Japanese-style fritter?]
So. Fritters, beignets, croquettes. They’re fried. Really, only in that way are they (oh-so-irresistibly!) the same.
Resistance is futile.