(A group of concerned Moms decided to hold a “Doughnut Event” to raise money for much needed playground equipment. Being a mini-United Nations kind of neighbourhood, the doughnuts presented as an international event as well. . .)
The next booth represented Holland, a country I always visualized as masses of tulips, a few windmills and tasty cheeses. I now add Oliebollen. Oliebollens are like dumplings made from enriched yeast dough and cooked in a deep-fryer. They are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve, but can be bought at oliebollen street vendors in November and December, as well as throughout the year at fun fairs–much like the fairs where I can buy my mini-doughnuts in Victoria. Oliebollens can be made plain or have raisins, currents and apples added to the dough. Both kinds usually get dusted with some icing sugar before serving. The oliebollen I sampled was filled, after frying, with whipped cream and/or jam and had a hint of citrus flavouring. It is not a sweet dough as the sugar and various fillings provides the sweetness. I bought two more and popped them into my bag to share with my Hubby.
The French booth evoked delicious memories of New Orleans and the enjoyment of warm beignets with cafe au lait at the famous Cafe du Monde. Considered a part of a New Orleans breakfast, these deliciously tender pieces of dough, deep-fried and dipped in powdered sugar are decadent and dangerous. I considered them dangerous because it takes significant self-control to stop at one beignet. The beignets were sold 3 on a tray. One tray plus one beignet went into my doughnut bag. . .two beignets went into my tummy. I paused for my cuppa coffee.
Pazcki, a sugared doughnut from Lebanon and Syria, is made from flatbread dough–pieces are broken off and flattened with a hole punched in the middle. These pieces are deep-fried and then dusted with sugar. In some households, these doughnuts are also called Zalabia. Most of my warm pazcki, except for a small bite, went into my bag. The bite I had tasted was wonderful. but I was beginning to feel stuffed and my doughnut bag was running out of space.
I recognized the Churros and Sopapillas at the Mexican booth. I was told that sopapillas in New Mexico was used much like tortillas–to mop up beans and gravy. The one I tasted was of a dessert variety. As the quick dough pieces were deep-fried and puffed up, it was removed and drained from the hot oil, then tossed in a cinnamon/sugar mix. Three of these “little pillows” went into my bag to be enjoyed later. Churros are basically made from a choux pastry and deep-fried. The result is a very light piece of pastry, usually elongated and rolled in a cinnamon/sugar mix. Three churros went into my bag—oops, a bite was taken from one of the warm churros and it was fabulous, but I was really getting stuffed!
The German booth sold Berliners and Fastnacht. I recognized the Berliners as the familiar jelly doughnuts called “Bismarcks” at my local bakery. I was not familiar with fastnachts, which are made of yeast-leavened dough, traditionally eaten and enjoyed on Shrove Tuesday. Still warm, it was drizzled with a honey citrus glaze. And it went into my doughnut bag for later—much later . . . .
I saw my favourite booth representing China. “Uncle” Henry, an elderly neighbour and his two sisters were making new batches of the Chinese doughnuts called Jian Dui–of which I was beginning to feel like one! Jian dui are fried bits of dough made from glutinous rice flour, filled with a red bean paste and rolled in sesame seeds resulting in small round sesame balls. The texture is crispy outside, slightly chewy and very tender inside. Three little balls rolled into my doughnut bag. . .
This event was a tasty adventure of sampling doughnuts from around the world. I was happy indulging my craving for doughnuts, but it will be a long time before I indulge again. The bakers had done a fantastic job to raise more than enough funds for better and safer playground equipment. I had a full doughnut bag to share with Hubby. I was assured that most could be frozen and reheated later. Well, we shall see. . . .bombolone anyone? Or how about an oliebollen or a zalabia or a beignet or. . . . .?