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Is Crispy Fried Dough with Sugar Universal?


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Here in Rhode Island, if you go to the right sorts of banquets and events, you're likely to encounter a two-foot stack of fried dough and sugar known as wandies. They're utterly unremarkable -- though some Rhode Islanders swear by these quasi-Italian-American treats because, well... you know. Because.

It seems to me that fried-dough-and-sugar treats are a staple item in many celebrations that I've witnessed both here in the US and elsewhere. Is dough, deep fried, with sweet on top one of the few truly universal food items?

What do you think? What's your family's or culture's version?

Chris Amirault

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The Mennonite culture has Roll Kucken - dough rolled thin, cut in strips and deep fried and sprinkled with sugar. Most common during the summer at Sunday School picnics and the like because the traditional accompaniment is watermelon.

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Churros in Mexico- dough extruded into a vat of bubbling lard, scooped out and rolled in cinnamon sugar. They are tasty when fresh, but the pre-cooked abominations at street fairs and fast food joints in the US give them a bad name.

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I don't think fried sweet things are really traditional in Japan. There are sata andagi (fried sweet dough) in Okinawa, but those are a local specialty.

There's a website out there with the history of fried dough, and some fried doughs from around the world (not all are sweet). It's really a commecial site (they sell some kind of sweet dough), but it has some interesting information on it.

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Can't think of a Chinese one that's sweet, unless you're talking about fillings, usually mashed beans or crushed peanuts.

We used to go to a Chinese restaurant that had fairly large diamond-shaped pieces of dough that were fried. The dough was sweet, but I don't remember if it was sprinkled with sugar. It may have been a specialy of that particular shop, but I don't know. The owners were Hong Kong Chinese, so it may have been a Hong Kong thing? I loved them, though, and I used to get really pissed off because I'd forget which Chinese doughnut I liked, and I'd accidentally order the long doughnut (yu tiao?).

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crushiki from my heritage

at christmas i went up to visit my friend and we made crispadelle - on powdered sugar but fried dough drenched in honey and mounded like a croquembouche.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Oh Suzilighting, yes, crushiki !!! Many many fond memories of kneading that dough for my Mom for Christmas. Slitting the stips, and pulling the end through. She did the frying (the better to keep her little girl safe......) and then sugaring them. We used powdered sugar, and ohhhhhhhhh, that first one after a year, burning your mouth ever-so-slightly because it was still toooooo hot, but you were far far tooooooo eager to taste it. I haven't made them in probably 30 years, but I can sure still taste them.

Then there's the Scandinavian rosettes that you cook on a form....almost a pancake/crepe type batter (very thin......) and fry them while they're still on the form. For the life of me, I can't think of the name right now.

Both sides of my heritage. Mom was Polish, Daddy was Norwegian, both had fried dough of some ilk ! But crushiki.....oh yeah. Those were the best.

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Can't think of a Chinese one that's sweet, unless you're talking about fillings, usually mashed beans or crushed peanuts.

How about those sesame ball things? I've seen them two ways... glutinous rice filled with mashed red beans, and one that is a gooey yam/glutinous rice dough. The latter I really love.

Cheryl

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Can't think of a Chinese one that's sweet, unless you're talking about fillings, usually mashed beans or crushed peanuts.

We used to go to a Chinese restaurant that had fairly large diamond-shaped pieces of dough that were fried. The dough was sweet, but I don't remember if it was sprinkled with sugar. It may have been a specialy of that particular shop, but I don't know. The owners were Hong Kong Chinese, so it may have been a Hong Kong thing? I loved them, though, and I used to get really pissed off because I'd forget which Chinese doughnut I liked, and I'd accidentally order the long doughnut (yu tiao?).

Diamond shaped. No idea. Anybody else?

Yup, the long one is yu tiao--it's plain and slightly salty, right?

Can't think of a Chinese one that's sweet, unless you're talking about fillings, usually mashed beans or crushed peanuts.

How about those sesame ball things? I've seen them two ways... glutinous rice filled with mashed red beans, and one that is a gooey yam/glutinous rice dough. The latter I really love.

Well, I took chrisamirault's question to mean plain dough/batter that's sweetened in some way but not with a filling. Maybe I'm taking him too literally.

Though now that I think about it, I think there's one that's kind of like the Jin dui (that would be the sesame balls), but without filling.

Edited by miladyinsanity (log)

May

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my parents are from friuli and we have something called 'crostoli' a paper thin sweet dough flavoured with lemon peel and grappa, rolled thin and fried and dusted with icing sugar!

sweet mother of ..

now does the funnel cake make up this tradition?

Life! what's life!? Just natures way of keeping meat fresh - Dr. who

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In Canada, they're "beaver tails:" oblong pieces of thin bready dough, deep-fried and dusted with sugar. Some places offer maple syrup or applesauce, but more usually it's sugar or cinnamon sugar.

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In the Northeastern US I see the names Zeppole, Fried Dough and Elephant easr all meaning the same thing - an oblong piece of fried dough akin the the Candian "Beaver tail" described upthread. But at the NY Stste Fair (where there are dozens of booths sellign the aforementioned) we also have "Pizza Frite". These are shaped like a small elongated loaf of Italian bread - 18" to 24" long and served plain, with granulated sugar or with cinnamon sugar.

I'm always baffled when I see people takign bags of these (multiptle pieces) home at the end of the night. If you don't get it straight form the fryer what's the point?

And I tasted my girlfriend's Funnel Cake at Rochester's Lilac festival today. More of the same in some respects but much thinner and crispier. And still with powdered sugar.

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Then there's the Scandinavian rosettes that you cook on a form....almost a pancake/crepe type batter (very thin......) and fry them while they're still on the form.  For the life of me, I can't think of the name right now.

Both sides of my heritage.  Mom was Polish, Daddy was Norwegian, both had fried dough of some ilk !  But crushiki.....oh yeah.  Those were the best.

Rosettes! I used to make those at our local street fair. So delicious right after you sprinkle them with powdered sugar.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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"We used to go to a Chinese restaurant that had fairly large diamond-shaped pieces of dough that were fried. The dough was sweet, but I don't remember if it was sprinkled with sugar. It may have been a specialy of that particular shop, but I don't know. The owners were Hong Kong Chinese, so it may have been a Hong Kong thing?"

These sound like cousins to Norwegian fattigmann (egg-yolk rich dough, cut into diamonds, slit the center and pull one end through before frying and sugaring). Haven't had these since my Aunt made them years ago.

Edited by baroness (log)
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I love RI fried dough. But only with real maple syrup and butter, as a kid I could eat it the traditional way as Chris described, but somewhere along the line I changed, and after that she had to cache real maple syrup to please me the few times I would visit each decade. What a bastard I am.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In Singapore, a favorite afternoon snack is the Cantonese hum jin peng — deep-fried discs of yeast-leavened dough infused with spices and flecked with sesame seeds. With an added texturizing boost from minute amounts of lye water and ammonia powder (common additives in Asian pastries) the puffs are crisp and light, with a pleasantly springy interior.

There are two varieties: sweet, speckled with sesame seeds and filled with a dab of red-bean paste; or salty, redolent of Chinese five-spice powder and dusted lightly with sugar and salt =)

I've spied them (still warm, though you really want them piping hot - chuck in the toaster oven) at the Chinese American Mini Market in Providence, RI.

Edited by onedaylingers (log)

itadakimas...eat a duck i must!

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We used to go to a Chinese restaurant that had fairly large diamond-shaped pieces of dough that were fried.  The dough was sweet, but I don't remember if it was sprinkled with sugar.  It may have been a specialy of that particular shop, but I don't know.  The owners were Hong Kong Chinese, so it may have been a Hong Kong thing?  I loved them, though, and I used to get really pissed off because I'd forget which Chinese doughnut I liked, and I'd accidentally order the long doughnut (yu tiao?).

*raises hand excitedly* I know! I know!! Those are called "ngao lei so", aka "cow tongue crisps", so called because of their shape. The dough is denser that that used for "you tiew" or "you za gwai" (same thing, different name), and contains more baking soda than "you tiew". I generally don't like "ngao lei so" because I can taste the baking soda and because it's so dense, but I like small pieces of "ngao lei so" that don't taste of baking soda.

Edited by chocomoo (log)
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