Doughnuts–I have a passion for doughnuts. Mind you, I have a lot of passions, but doughnuts absolutely makes it almost to the top of my List. The top of that list is my Hubby and the next is dark chocolate, so I guess that makes doughnuts #3. What brought on this profound appreciation for a fried piece of dough just before Lent last year, was a concerned group of Moms, who decided to raise money for some new playground equipment. And being a veritable mini-United Nations kind of neighbourhood, the women decided that a doughnut sale would make some money since this would be the last bit of sweet pastry for awhile.
My idea of doughnuts was mainly what I’ve eaten at the Canadian “Tim Horton’s,” with the usual jellies, sugared. cinnamon, long-johns, crescents, twisties, etc. And of course at the fairs with the famous mini-doughnuts that rolls off a conveyor belt, dropped in cinnamon-sugar and scooped into a brown paper bag–still warm from the frying process. Large supermarket chains with in-store bakeries made their own version of traditional glazed, plump jelly filled mounds and twisties with an orange filling or pecans or chocolate. Well, let me tell you–my doughnut education was sadly lacking because I discovered that like pasta, doughnuts truly are an international food.
We were all handed large paper bags when we paid our entry fee of two dollars. You only had to follow your noses to the large room for the doughnut event; a room already smelling like yeast, cinnamon, sugar and chocolate. And the smell of fresh roasted coffee, brewed to mate with a fabulous piece of fried pastry.
My eyes were drawn to the first booth that sold Italian doughnuts. I will now remember Italy as the land of Bombolone and Zeppole. Never again will I merely think pasta, pizza and wine. Bombolone are Tuscan doughnuts and unlike other Italian areas that claims bombolone, the Tuscan version has no cream filling. It is best served warm and is a mound of deliciously light dough, deep-fried and dipped in granulated sugar. It does resemble a Berliner or jelly doughnut, but without a filling.
Zeppole, according to Wikapedia, is an “Italian pastry consisting of a deep-fried ball of dough, typically about 4-inches in diameter. This doughnut or fritter is usually topped with powdered sugar and may be filled with custard, jelly, cannoli-style pastry cream or a butter and honey mixture.” The zeppola I sampled was slightly more dense than bombolone and not as sweet. It is the fabulous fillings that makes these doughnuts decadently delicious. I did eat a whole one but another zeppola and one bomboloni went into my empty bag.
(To be continued)