Beignets. My first experience two years ago was friendly, though a tad ‘meh’, and ever since I have not had such a desirous attachment to this fried pastry situation. Rolled in cocoa sugar, those first bites were tasty, sure, but nothing to truly dance about, in my opinion. You see, I make some pretty darn good doughnuts, myself, (thanks to Nigella’s luxurious recipe, Baci Di Ricotta) so it takes a lot to impress me when we’re speaking on little fried dough balls.
Needless to say I was curious when visiting New Orleans and coming to the home of Beignets, as to how my thoughts may shift. Before I made up my mind about Beignets once and for all I knew I had to try the famed bites from Cafe Du Monde. I was a little dubious – despite all the hype, my expectations were not that high.
One drizzly Tuesday in NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana), Ben and I grabbed an outdoor seat at Cafe Du Monde near Jackson Square, and ordered one plate of Beignets and one frozen Cafe Au Lait to share. A rather modest order, we felt.
In no time our order turned up and I got to taking pictures of the humble plate of oddly shaped, freshly fried, tan lumps covered in an impressive mound of sugar that lay before me.
We pounced in for a taste…
I got it.
These charming, golden pillows are surprisingly light (provided you can stick to one or two), though slightly awkward in shape (never allowing for a dainty taste ). As you wrangle a bite the lovely crisp outer layer yields to a winsome web of tender dough. And they are completely, completely covered in powdered sugar (I felt with sugar-kissed feet), which, let me assure you, only enhances the deliciousness.
Previously I had only seen merit in dressing dough balls in cinnamon sugar, where sweet granules marry with spice and seep into fried crevices to create something magical. But oh my, this powdered sugar business did something to my heart and now I get it. I get it. Beignets, these fiercely fried morsels, are pure comfort and the perfect vehicle for an uplifting dusting of sweet snow, a sugary sonnet, if you will. I get it. I get it all.
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