Buñuelos, and irreplaceable new year delight
By: Elsy Fors
Some authors place the origin of the buñuelos as the Iberian Peninsula, when the Moors occupied southern Spain. Its main ingredient, like cassava, is yucca or manioc, high in starches and the main component of the food of indigenous communities in the New World. In Seville and Granada, oil-fried doughnuts covered in honey were a typical dessert.
Besides that, this specialty was adopted by the gypsies after the Moorish expulsion and has been perpetuated until today. Although in Cuba its consumption is presumed to originate, just like the cassava made with ground yucca, from before the Spanish conquest, perhaps it was adapted to Spanish customs, with the addition of honey or sugar. Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Mesoamerica and the Caribbean are the countries where buñuelos are eaten the most, especially at Christmas. Specifically, in Colombia it is usual to prepare them with a mixture of eggs, ground cheese, cornflour and sugar.
In Mexico they are made of flour, brown sugar (solid cone-shaped sugar molasses) and cinnamon. In Venezuela they are made with celery, cassava, or squash. In Peru they are prepared with flour with butter, eggs, cinnamon and sugar. All recipes have in common that they are fried in oil.
Ingredients 1 kilo of yucca (boiled) 3 beaten egg yolks 2 tablespoons of sugar 1 tsp. of salt 3 cups of vegetable oil 5 cloves 1¼ cups of water
Preparation Remove the yucca veins and crush; it can be in a food grinder or with a fork or potato masher, until it has the consistency of a dough. Add the egg yolks, sugar and salt. Knead until an uneven texture is achieved.
Take portions of the dough, give them an elongated shape and cross the ends in the form of eight without closing. Fry in plenty of oil over high heat until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on absorbent paper to remove excess fat.
They can be eaten with syrup or glazed.
The syrup contains 4 cups of sugar, 2 cups of water, 1 small cup of dry wine and 2 sprigs of cinnamon. Boil the sugar and water. Once boiled, add the dry wine and cinnamon and leave for 5 more minutes over low heat.
To make the glaze, place the sugar syrup with water in a pot until it dissolves and then add the cloves. Let it thicken. Remove from heat and take out the cloves.
Place the buñuelos in the syrup or glaze and allow to cool.