Fried Dough, Both Simple and Stuffed

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Deep frying has always been a relatively expensive way to cook, but in the Mediterranean world, where olive oil and in some regions other vegetable oils were available, it has long been a feature of celebratory communal events, including holidays. Simple preparations of fried dough dressed with honey, syrup, or sugar are widely known from the Middle East to Spain, a culinary tradition that goes back as far as classical Greece and Rome; of similar antiquity are the analogs in Jewish and other Semitic cultures. Related preparations have also long been made for holidays across South and Southeast Asia. Indeed, this family of holiday sweets is one of the oldest and most widespread across the globe.