I’m home on spring break. What happens when I am home for my breaks, you may ask? I fill up on foods that make me so deliriously happy, angels start to weep. The food that I am currently craving at the moment? BuÃ±uelos.
My hometown is a well known Hispanic-dominated town. Yes, you all have heard of it. Think awesome basketball team, a river in the downtown area, and a landmark super famous for the fight against Mexico. Don’t have it yet? Well, those are the only clues I’m giving, so you all can deal. This city is wonderful, I love the culture, the vibrancy, the colors, the food and the variety that it comes in. However there are things that are made here that I can’t imagine getting anywhere else. They can’t be replicated by any other place. Some of these things are pan dulces (These are things like: Pata de Mula, Conchas, Bigote, and Lima’s, just to name a few), buÃ±uelos, sopapilla, and more.
Anyway, buÃ±uelos are the most amazing things known to mankind. Basically, they are fried flat pieces of sweet dough covered in sugar and cinnamon. They are crispy, flaky, sweet, and life-changing. We eat them all the time, but they are bought in bulk for Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter. Basically, your run-of-the-mill holidays. A brief history of the food is rather interesting. Since I am no expert on the history of this particular food, I did a little searching, it goes a little like this according to eHow (Food).com:
“Culinary historians have traced the origin of buÃ±uelos to ancient times. Europe’s Iberian Peninsula is consider the birthplace of the buÃ±uelo. Oaxacan historian Ruben Vasconcelos claims, however, that buÃ±uelos are not purely Spanish in tradition, but actually reflect the Arab heritage of settlers on the peninsula. During the Spanish settlement of the Americas, explorers brought the buÃ±uelo tradition with them. From there, many cultures adopted their version of buÃ±uelos, resulting in recipes such as waffles, donuts, churros, funnel cake and cream puffs.
BuÃ±uelos are as diverse as the people in the countries that make them. Most buÃ±uelos share a common origin of consisting of a wheat-based dough. Many people add anise seeds to the dough. The dough is then rolled thin and then cut and shaped into an individual piece. In Mexico, the shape may be a ball or a pancake, and even a thin twisted strip of dough that is then deep fried in oil. Some buÃ±uelos come with sugar or honey on top, while others are filled with jam, cream, cheese or even yams.
In Columbia, buÃ±uelos are a savory treat and the dough is made with white cheese curd. Mexicans add a brown sugar, guava and cinnamon syrup. Some Latin American countries substitute the brown sugar for piloncillo, a hot sugar cane syrup. Cubans add yucca and malanga to the dough base and twist the concoction into the shape of a figure eight. Nicaraguans also add yucca to the dough, which is then shaped into balls, fried, and served with a light honey. Other countries with their versions of buÃ±uelos are Turkey, the Netherlands, India and Russia. Some Jewish people use matzo meal as the base of the buÃ±uelo dough. In Oaxaca, Mexico, New Years Eve buÃ±uelos are served on thin china plates that must wall or on the ground while making a wish for the new year.”
I am most familiar with them flattened like a tortilla, fried, and covered in the sugar/cinnamon mixture, with honey on the side. There is also the common serving of them shaped in bowls, and filled with vanilla ice cream and drizzled in honey. Regardless of the shape and the style, the treat is virtually the same, a fried crispy wafer like treat covered in sugar, cinnamon, and honey. They are wonderful and I am including a recipe for you all to try, because I know you will love them. If you don’t, well I’m sorry you don’t enjoy angels tickling your taste buds. I will be eating myself into a sugar coma. Click the photo below to enjoy!