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What is a beignet and how do you spell it?

19 September 2006

Beignet & Coffee….from a phone caller in Seattle

There are two varieties of beignets, depending on the type of pastry. The classic French beignet is simply a deep-fried choux pastry; this variety is very similar to Italian zeppole. Beignets made with yeast pastry (yeast donuts) are sometimes called boules de Berlin and often have a filling of fruit or jam. This variety is similar to Polish paczki.

In the United States beignets are often found in, and typically associated with, the city of New Orleans, Louisiana and the restaurants Café du Monde and Morning Call. Savory versions of beignets are also popular as an appetizer, with fillings such as crawfish or shrimp.

In certain parts of France a beignet can incorporate meats.

Photo of Beignets and Iced Café Au Lait at Café Du Monde in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo courtesy of Jason Perlow (jason@egullet.org)

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