Fritter, the word, derives from French friture (something deep-fried) by an obvious process of phonological devolution. But on the western shores of the Atlantic, almost anything deep-fried, especially in a batter, is most likely a descendant of African cookery. From Brazil (Acarajes) to Martinique (acras) to Charleston (hush puppies), fritters are a link to West African foodways that have been adapted to New World conditions. And the major adaptation that occurred in North America was the incorporation of corn into the basic fritter cuisine. This recipe carries the process as far away from the traditional formula as it can go, expanding the basic fritter concept into a beignet formed from eggs, milk, and wheat flour aerated with a modern chemical raising agent. But the unreconstructed kernels lurk inside, éminences jaunes that dominate the dish.
© 2007 Raymond Sokolov. All rights reserved.