Today I’m going to the carnival, and the afternoon visitors will come so I have to surprise them with something delicious, sweet pastry. I decided to make Angel wings since they are traditional carnival treatments. These sweet crisp pastries made out of dough that have been shaped into thin twisted ribbons, deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Traditionally present in several European cuisines angel wings are known by many other names and have been incorporated into other regional cuisines (such as the United States) by immigrant populations. They are most commonly eaten in the period just before Lent, often during Carnival and on Fat Tuesday, the last Thursday before Lent- not to be confused with “Fat Tuesday” (Mardi Gras), the day before the start of Lent (Ash Wednesday). There is a tradition in some countries for husbands to give angel wings to their wives on Friday the 13th in order to avoid bad luck
Ingredients used in the preparation of angel wings typically includes flour, water, egg yolk, confectioners’ sugar, rectified spirit or rum, vanilla and salt.
I ate once in France the bugnes de Lyon, which was a fried pastry are made in central-eastern France, including Lyon and Saint-Étienne, and are closely related to beignets. Traditionally, Lyon cold meat shops sold bugnes just before Lent, due to their high fat content. They are also made in the home as a way of using surplus cooking fat, which would be wasted during Lent. More recently, bakeries make them, respecting more or less the tradition of Lent. French bugnes varieties include crunchy bugnes and soft bugnes. The crunchy variety, known as “bugnes lyonnaises” (“Lyon bugnes”), are cooked in very hot oil with the dough spread out thinly and knotted once or twice. The soft variety, sometimes known as “pillows”, are made with a thicker dough, which is rarely knotted
Of course my grandma prepared for us the Hungarian csöröge which are made from egg yolk, flour, a leavening agent, sugar, salt and cognac or brandy. They are deep fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are traditional at weddings as well.
And when I was in Rome I tasted the Italian cenci or chiacchiere which are mostly eaten at Carnival time as well. Their various regional names include: frappe (a name shared with similar treats) in sfrappole; bugie and galani or crostoli. Regional variations in the recipe include sprinkling with orange zest or using anisette wine as the alcoholic base.