Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

fritters, like the closely related fried dough and doughnuts, are a fried food preparation; the English word “fritter” derives from Old French friture, meaning “something fried.” Although considerable overlap exists among these categories, in general, fritters are distinguished from other fried foods because they are made from batter rather than dough.

Globally, there are several common fritter-making techniques: using batter to encase fruit, molding fritters with a fritter iron, and pouring batter directly into hot oil. In Europe sliced apples encased in batter are common in historic texts and remain one of the most prevalent fruit fritters. Fresh stone fruits, dried prunes, pineapple, and banana are also popular fruit fritters. In Asia banana or plantain fritters are very widely distributed. They are made either by coating the banana in batter (called kluay kaek in Thailand, pisang goreng in Malaysia and Indonesia, and pazham pori/ ethakka appam in Kerala) or by mashing ripe banana to use as the basis of the fritter batter itself (kolar pitha in Bangladesh and kolar bora in Bengal).