I might want to remind something to you folks before I should ever forget: Mardi Gras is coming up in a few weeks, on Tuesday, March 5th; Over in New Orleans, it is observed as the final celebration before Ash Wednesday, March 6th, observed as the Christian season of Lent. Mardi Gras happens to be a French word meaning “Fat Tuesday”, so it makes sense to eat a whole lot of pancakes before Lent! (just kidding…)
However, besides pancakes, there is a dessert that also happens to be served at breakfast, and if you want to have this kind of dessert, you need to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana to enjoy something as worthwhile as a beignet. A beignet is as just as special to New Orleans as anything they got in the Crescent City; I think it is translated from a French word meaning “bump”. A beignet is a treat that is made from fried dough, but they can also be made from other types of dough such as yeast.
The beignets are as much a tradition to New Orleans as Mardi Gras, but the tradition of this food goes back further, to the time of Ancient Rome, as well as other cultures who have adapted their own methods of making the pastry. Here in the United States, the beignet in the French style has quite the specific meaning of deep-fried choux pastry; Beignets can sometimes be filled with fruit, cream, or even jam.
The most commonly known breakfast that is served in New Orleans is of course, beignets-They are prepared traditionally right before consumption, and that they must be enjoyed fresh and hot; The beignet has been popular within the ranks of Creole cuisine in New Orleans and that they have and still are served customarily as a dessert, or even in some sweet variation.
In the 18th century, the beignet has been brought to New Orleans, Lo., by the French colonists, direct from “the old mother country”; Today, restaurants such as the popular New Orleans food destination the Café du Monde have started popularizing beignets, and in 1986, they were declared the official state donut of Louisiana.
Now, to prepare for a beignet, one must have these ingredients: Lukewarm water, granulated sugar, evaporated milk, bread flour, shortening, and for deep-frying, one should have either oil or lard and the final ingredient happens to be confectioner’s sugar.
Even if you cannot make it to New Orleans, then you can celebrate Mardi Gras from the comfort of your own home by making a beignet of your very own; The recipe is right here!