December 2 is Fritters Day, an unofficial holiday that is dedicated to the snack made by frying battered vegetables, fruits or meat.
Traditionally thought to be types of cake, fritters are usually deep fried and can be served as snack, main course or even dessert. In many cultures, they are considered to be fast and casual food, commonly prepared by street side vendors. Fritters are also sold at fairs and festivals.
There is some debate within the culinary community as to what kind of fried food can be considered a fritter. Some culinarians believe that anything that is battered and fried is a fritter, while others assert that a fritter must have the main ingredient chopped up and fried with the flour batter or dough. This can lead to some confusion over the nomenclature of fried foods - corn dogs are not considered to be fritters, because they are made by battering and frying a whole corn dog. Fried candy bars on the other hand, while being the sweet version of a fried corn dog – a whole candy bar battered and fried, are often called fritters.
Every culture around the world has its own version of the fritter. In the United States, fritters are usually made by mixing vegetables or fruits with a batter of flour and eggs. Popular fritters include corn fritters, apple fritters, and crab cakes. In Japan, tempura is a popular type of fritter and is served with sauces or with other dishes. In many parts of India, and Pakistan, fritters are called pakora and are made by mixing vegetables - usually onions or potatoes - with a batter of chick pea flour and deep frying them.
How to Celebrate?
Have fritters for all your meals. Start the day with donuts, have tempura for lunch, onion pakoras for a snack and corn fritters for dinner. For dessert, have churros - a sweet fritter of Spanish origin - with a cup of hot chocolate.
Make your own fritters at home. Experiment with the flavors - raid your fridge and fry whatever you can think can be fried with batter.
Did You Know…
…that the word fritter has another definition, unrelated to food, in the English language? It means to waste something, usually unwisely.