There is nothing sweeter than a powder sugar pillow, or Beignet. Of course, they can be made savory as well, but the sweet ones were the first, the original, and enjoyed by more people than all the other types. 

Food historians can trace the fried dough back to the 17th-century, and to the city of New Orleans in the state of Louisiana. But you don’t have to be a native of New Orleans or even live there to enjoy these wonderful treats. 

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Roman Treat

This delicious sweet dessert, which is often eaten at breakfast with coffee or as a snack with tea, can be found in the history books of the Roman Empire. It is thought that the ancient Romans began frying pockets of pastry or dough to be filled with a sweet cream type of food. 

From Rome, the popular fried dough made its way to the kitchens of the French people and was renamed the Beignet. 

Pastry Names Around The World

Although every cook in nearly every country has a traditional recipe for a type of crisp, sometimes referred to as a crispello or crépe. Something we call a doughnut today. 

The French called their fried dough a Beignet, which also refers to a fritter. This same word is dubbed a Buñuelo in Spain, a Bugne in Belgium, and a bun in England. In England, in the 16th-century, these fried “cakes” were called Bennets, they were named Zeppole in Italy, and Krullers or Spitz Kueken in Germany.

Syringed Fritters

The name Buñuelos de Jeringa is a Spanish name for syringed fritters. This means that a syringe or tube is filled with the hot water paste and then pushed into the hot oil. It could also mean filling the finished pocket with something like jelly or cream. 

The best and most comical names for this type of pastry come from France before they settled on the name Beignets. “Pets de Nonne” means “nun farts” in French. They were also called “Pets d’Espagne” or Spanish farts” during the 14th-century bakers. 

First Recorded Recipe

Published in London in 1584, A Book of Cookrye contained the first recipe for a fried dough made with a hot water paste. This type of paste was also used when making eclairs, profiteroles, and cream puffs. The French named their paste “Choux” which is French for cabbage. Although the Beignets contain no cabbage, they look like small cabbage or small buns when the hot water paste is baked. 

Movie Connection

In 2009, Walt Disney Company created an animated movie titled The Princess and The Frog. The movie featured a young woman who created the most delicious Beignets in New Orleans and by some weird twist of fate, was turned into a frog and had to kiss another frog, who happened to be a prince, to turn them back into people.   

If you want to bring your favorite movies to real life, why not start by cooking the famous dishes from the movies? If you like Disney’s Princess and the Frog movie, you will love Keeha’s Kitchen’s Princess Tiana’s Famous Beignets Recipe.