How Beignets were invented?
All started with a "Pet-de-Nonne" translated “Fart of a Nun”
Their strange, grotesque shapes recall the carnival, the feast after the fast. Originally, it was just pieces of dough dropped into the frying pan. The origin seems to go back to the Saracens. History reminds us that the Crusades were more than a Christian war but a quest for something new. Thus the Crusaders brought back to France this gluttony in the thirteenth century. They were savored, on feast days, in a paper cone that they bought from the traveling fritterers. But it was not until the eighteenth century to trace the taste of donuts as we know it today with the import of sugar.
In the culinary tradition, there are many salty donuts recipes; at one time, donuts were recommended for roast meats. Then came the flowers, clusters of acacia, zucchini florets (a tradition that is still alive in Italy and the region of Nice), and elder-flowers in their crisp cocoon.
Sweet, the donuts bears tasty names with its personality, its regional distinction: Mitake, Doko, Puff Puff, bugnes de Lyon, Strasbourg rooster, wonder of Gascony, Bottereau des Charentes, Provence auricle, Auvergne rags, etc.
Filled with fruit, they become rissoles with prunes and it's a feast day when grandmother rides her warm pyramid of apple fritters.
And what about the Pet-de-Nonne, You ask?
According to legend, a nun living at the Abbey Marmoutier, farted in the kitchen while preparing a feast. The other nuns laughed and, embarrassed, dropped a spoonful of puff pastry into a container of hot oil. Thus was born this type of donut in France, light as a breath that some prefer to call donut-wind,sigh-of-nun or even Beignets.
Unbelievable, correct? Even Marie Curie would have been surprised of that gastronomical invention. May I claim the Nobel Prize?
But so, I was told….