According to tradition, and the gastronomic calendar, Easter week means fritters, or brunyols, as this sweet treat is known is some parts of Catalonia. Although they are produced all year round, principally from savoury ingredients, these days the king of after-dinner treats, desserts and afternoon tea alike is the sweet fritter.
Fritters make an appearance in the cookbooks of most of the countries which form the Mediterranean arch, but each region has its own unique way of making them. In Catalonia, flour, butter, eggs, milk or water and lemon zest are usually the main ingredients used to make the mixture for these round pastries which are then fried and dipped in sugar before serving. Those with the sweetest tooth also fill them with cream, truffle or any other ingredient that their imagination and skills allow.
The most typical version of this sweet treat is the Empordà fritter. The secret to its taste and denser texture lies in the raising agent used and its flavouring using an aromatic herb which is incorporated into the mixture. Invented and prepared centuries ago within the walls of several monasteries in the Roussillon and Empordà regions, they quickly spread across the nation, as people discovered that they were a great way to get through the fasts imposed during Lent. Their success was such that they are still produced today in domestic kitchens, bakeries and restaurants, which constantly look for new twists to satisfy their customers’ ever more curious palates.
The list of fritter recipes is extensive; here you can see a selection of different recipes found on the internet:
> Empordà fritters – Els Fogons de la Bordeta (CAT)
> Lent fritters – El món de Juju (CAT)
> “Light as air” fritters – El Aderezo (SP)
> Homemade fritters – Madmoizelle (FR)
Whether they are “light as air”, Empordà-style or filled, presentation can vary as much as the method of preparation: on a plate, on a tray or in a bowl. Any recipient is fine to serve them at home. In restaurants, the options are diverse and presentation is becoming more sophisticated. We suggest using Pordamsa’s Dali-inspired triangular plates, which featured in a report by the newspaper La Vanguardia a few days ago. These plates are designed based on the lines in Salvador Dali’s jewel “The Eye of Time”, and are an ideal option to serve another jewel, a culinary one in this case, which also shares the painter’s Empordanian roots.
(See the full story: La Vanguardia 30-03-2012)