Discover the Bugnes from Lyon

Bugnes, a dessert akin to angel wings, are fried in oil and made with your typical doughnut ingredients (butter, flour, milk, eggs, sugar, and vanilla) plus an extra something – typically orange flower zest. However, angel wings are a lot thinner than traditional French bugnes. While you can find both flatter, crunchier versions of bugnes in France, the most common are the fluffier, soft ones. I have heard that bugnes lyonnaises are flatter and bugnes stéphanoises are thicker. Etymologically, bugne used to mean tumor in French (before it meant beignet, i.e., doughnut), which most likely referenced the pastry’s swollen look. In the 16th century, bugnes were already part of celebrated humanist and French writer Rabelais’ list of cuisine lyonnaise, or food from the Lyon region (the central-eastern part of France). In French slang, a bugne can also mean a punch! Historically, this pastry was actually an antique Roman specialty, eaten during carnival season. In France, these are also traditionally linked to festive occasions like Mardi Gras, though I have been able to buy some year round in most Parisian boulangeries.

Bugnes

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