Buñuelos are fritters of Spanish origin.
They are a popular snack in many Latin American countries, the Philippines, Turkey, Greece, Morocco, and are a tradition at Christmas, Ramadan and among Sephardic Jews at Hanukkah. They will usually have a filling or a topping. They are also an "essential" dish in Mexican cuisine.
Buñuelos "most likely originated with Sephardic Jews or Arabs", and "when these groups were forced out of Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, they took the dish to their new homelands." Buñuelos typically consist of a simple, wheat-based yeast dough, often flavored with anise, that is thinly rolled, cut or shaped into individual pieces, then fried and finished off with a sweet topping. Buñuelos may be filled with a variety of things, ranging from cheese to yams. They can be round in ball shapes or disc shaped.
* In Catalonia, Spain, the Bunyols de Quaresma are eaten during Lent. It is one of the most enduring Catalan traditions.
* In Colombia they are not sweet and are made with a small curd white cheese and formed into doughy balls then fried golden brown. It is a traditional Christmas dish, served along with natillas and "manjar blanco".
Home-made Colombian Buñuelos
* In Cuba they are traditionally twisted in a figure 8 and covered in an anise caramel. The dough contains yuca and malanga.
* In Nicaragua buñuelos are made of yucca. The buñuelos are rolled into balls and deep fried and served with honey. They are eaten year-round, and are a typical side-dish or snack served during holidays.
* In Veneto, Italy, the frittelle or fritołe are eaten during Carnival, being a consolidated Venetian tradition. They can sometime be filled with custard; a bigger type is filled with apple slices.
* In Italy the Zeppole is a popular version of buñuelos made of dough balls about 2 inches (5.1 cm) in diameter, these doughnuts or fritters are usually topped with powdered sugar and may be filled with custard, jelly, cannoli-style pastry cream or a butter-and-honey mixture. Their consistency ranges from light and puffy, to bread or pasta-like.
In Mexico buñuelos are made from a yeasted dough with a hint of anise that is deep-fried, then drenched in a syrup of brown sugar, cinnamon, and guava. Buñuelos are commonly served in Mexico and other Latin American countries with powdered sugar, a cinnamon and sugar topping, or hot sugar cane syrup (piloncillo) and are sold in fairs, carnivals, and Christmas events such as Las Posadas.
There are references to buñelos in Majorca, Catalonia or in Valencia; there also buñuelos in Turkey, India, and Cuba; buñuelos in Russia. Jews in Turkey make buñuelos with matzo meal and eat them during Passover. They are also popular during Hanukkah.
A similar Dutch dish is called oliebollen. Oliebollen are sweetened with vanilla extract and can contain raisins or currants. The finished product can also be filled with cream to form Berliner Bollen. Oliebollen ate traditionally served on New Year's Eve.
At a Mexican Restaurant Association event in Kansas City, buñuelos served with "honey" from panela (called "piloncillo" in Mexico) was among the traditional Mexican foods.