Categories:Christmas Dessert Recipes Fried Bread International Regional Foods Mexican Southwest Breads Southwest Desserts Sweet Yeast Breads Thanksgiving
Bunuelos are served for numerous festive occasions and celebrations – from Christmas and Thanksgiving, to birthdays and baptisms. Many people of Hispanic heritage believe Bunuelos bring good luck when eaten during the holiday season. They are extremely popular on Christmas among the Mexican community.
What are Bunuelos? They are kind of like a “fritter” and also are like a hot bread that is sort of like a popover, a Mexican Popover. Over the years they have become often confused with other fried breads of the southwest, such as Indian Fry Bread. It should be made known that they are not Sopapillas, and they are not Fry Bread. Each of these three breads is actually very different. Bunuelos are more akin to a doughnut than to a Sopapilla since Sopapillas originated from the Indian Fry Bread of New Mexico’s Native Population.
Restaurants and cookbooks alike, have confused these three breads. For that reason, I want to show all three so the differences, as well as the similarities, can be seen. Learn about Navajo Fry Bread – Indian Tacos and Sopapillas.
This recipe and photos are courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX.
History of Bunuelos:
It is though that Bunuelos originate from Spain. During the Spanish settlement of the Americas, explorers brought the Buñuelo tradition with them. These Bunuelos, or fritters snacks, are consumed throughout Latin America, and are also popular in Colombia, Nicaragua, and Cuba. Although the ingredients vary slightly throughout the different regions, each evolving according to local tastes and customs. Some countries add anise seeds, others put sugar, cinnamon, honey, jam, or cream on them. All Buñuelos have a wheat-based dough.
Many people of Hispanic heritage believe Buñuelos bring good luck when eaten during the holiday season. They are extremely popular on Christmas among the Mexican community,
“Most countries have their version of Bunuelos, or fritters, either sweet or savory, and they are certainly great favorites throughout Spain and Latin America. In many parts of Mexico bunuelos are made of a stiffer dough, which is rolled out thin anywhere up to 12 inches in diameter and then fried crisp and staked up ready for use. In Uruapan…they are broken into small pieces and heated\ quickly in a thick syrup of piloncillo, the raw sugar of Mexico. These of Veracruz are very much like the churros of Spain, but flavored with anise seeds, and served with a syrup.” – The Cuisines of Mexico, by Diana Kennedy