Posted by: mchleen | September 1, 2009

Fried dough is fried dough… is fried dough… right?

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.


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