You can call them elephant ears, churros, beignets, malasadas or doughnuts, but the one thing the deep fried sweet treats all have in common is their melt in the mouth goodness that makes thoughts of weight loss and dieting fly right out of your mind.
Across the United States, fried dough is a guilty pleasure associated with summer craft fairs, carnivals and church festivals. Who can resist the mouth watering anticipation of biting into the warm delicacy sprinkled with powdered sugar? Whether you are five or fifty-five years old, nothing can compare to the flavors that flood your senses with that first tongue-tingling bite.
Americans can take credit for giving the fried delicacy the unsavory name of elephant ears as well as the more appetizing name of funnel cakes. The American influence is just one more chapter in the history of fried dough.
Variations of deep fried dough can be traced back through centuries of recorded history. Cultures through out the world from China, Europe, Africa and North America have all enjoyed the taste of fried dough, no matter what it is called.
Two developments made it possible for mankind to expand their cooking methods and eventually led to the development of fried dough, according to the Website OSO- ONO. The first improvement that expanded cooking options was the development of clay pottery.
Before clay pots arrived on the scene, cooking methods were limited to roasting, toasting, and steaming food in a pit over hot coals. Clay pots made it possible for man to being boiling and frying food as well.
The second invention developed in China between 8,000 and 5,500 B.C. that contributed to the creation of fried dough was the discovery of the stone grinder. The grinder made it possible to pulverize grain into a fine flour for blending into a dough. The dough could then be baked in a clay pot or fried in fat to produce the s cooked in a and cooking it in fat it in a clay vessel. Thus was born the first generation of fried dough delights.
Fried dough has come a long way from it early beginnings back in China. Today you can enjoy jelly filled doughnuts, apple fritters, braided, twisted, swirled and round bits of deep fried dough anywhere you travel in the world.
The next time you stroll the midway at your local fair or head to the carnival, don’t forget to sample the fried dough. Whether it is sold as funnel cakes, elephant ears or simply fried dough, know you will be enjoying a delicacy that has been lingering in the minds and hearts of mankind for centuries.