From "Awamee" to "Zelabiya" -- or just say "Fried Dough"

 Yeast dough, ready for shaping

Yeast dough, ready for shaping

I feel a little bit disloyal and unadventurous about this, but I have never (yet) tried one of the primary foods of Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts, where my family spends a few weeks each summer. I speak, of course, of Fried Dough. Our family members younger than 40 consider a trip to Salisbury Beach's "Center" for this Beach delicacy to be a mandatory part of any visit there.

Many thanks to Pittsburgh's post-gazette.com for offering a Hanukkah-inspired, long, intriguing article (and recipes) by award-winning cookbook author Gil Marks. This detailed description of fried dough across cultures and centuries may make you giddy. Try just reading the italicized words aloud; for example: frittelle,  krapfen, plinz, ritachlich, ponchiks, beignets, sufganiyot, shamlias, oliekoeken, dipoles, koeksisters, yoyos....

If you are planning to drain some of the oil from your your fried dough, oil cakes, or latkes for Hanukkah this year, you may be interested in Tara Parker Pope's article on versions with less fat. Or not. Somehow none of those appealed to me as alterations for once-a-year foods, but you may like these lower fat variations.

Our family latke recipe comes from the 1975 edition of The Joy of Cooking, which is not available online, but probably rests on your bookshelf. I also like the detail included in Girly Mae's recipe that has been tweaked for freezing and reheating, from her Kitchen Adventures blog.

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