I’ve long been a fan of beignets in New Orleans, where the unwritten rule is that you cannot breathe in or out when you bring one to your mouth. Breathe in, and you risk choking on all the powered sugar. Breathe out, and you’re wearing a new coat of the same stuff. Churros in Latin American countries are equally awesome, but often without the powered sugar danger of beignets. Just try keeping me away from sopaipillas, too.
When I traveled to Belize recently, I found a new fried dough love: fry jacks. Big pillows of soft golden dough, they accompany nearly every breakfast plate. There’s no danger of wearing sugar, because they come naked, without condiments. You can pick your favorite. Dip them in your coffee. Smother them with honey or jam. Top them with your beans and rice. There are no rules.
I could have eaten them with every meal, but I don’t think I’d have been able to fit into my airplane seat for the trip home if I had indulged my fry jack fantasies. If I were dedicated to recreating the taste, I could try making them at home, but there’s just something about eating a local dish in a destination that I won’t be able to recreate. That means I have to go back to Belize. OK, twist my arm.
Do you have favorite fried dough dish? What is it?