The following recipe is for a traditional holiday treat from my father’s sister. She tells me, “Your great grandmother made these by the bushels at Christmas and Easter.” It seems every culture worldwide has devised a unique way to fry dough and satisfy the sweet tooth: funnel cakes and doughnuts in America, beignets in France, churros and sopapillas in Spain and Mexico. This particular cookie seems familiar to me, but I did not realize it was from Italy. In my father’s family, food – especially pasta and sweets (unfortunately for someone like me who avoids sugar) – has always been a central unifying aspect of culture. Indeed food is one of the central aspects of ethnicity and heritage, and my informant says this is especially true in Italy.
Beat 3 eggs with 2T of sugar. Add:
1t lemon juice
1T evaporated milk
6T vegetable oil
Add 2 c plus 2T of flour. Knead on floured board. Roll paper thin. Cut into very thin strips and shape each strip into a loop. Fry in vegetable oil 5 seconds. They’ll be golden in color. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with sugar.