In New England the ubiquitous carnival or fair snack is the “doughboy.” (AKA fried dough). This northern snack is something my friends in the south have never heard of. Doughboys consist of rolled out pizza dough fried in peanut or canola oil. The dough puffs up on one side and it gets flipped in the oil so it can puff up on the other. Top it with confectioner’s sugar and add cinnamon and you have a typical New England doughboy. Warm and flaky, hot from the oil and sweet from the sugar, it sure is tasty.
I’ve been hearing about the southern mirror to the doughboy, the famous southern “funnel cake.” This southern fair snack consists of pancake-like batter poured out through a funnel onto hot oil. The batter is poured in a circular pattern criss-cross. When topped with confectioner’s sugar, it looks like a large lacy doily.
Doughboys are made with yeast dough that rises and the funnel cake is made with unleavened batter. Funnel cakes are actually Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. It is a dessert for the Amish descended from the Germans who emigrated to the US. So which is better, funnel cakes or doughboys? Both are good! I grew up with doughboys so I am partial to them because of tradition. I love risen bread in all forms, so again, the doughboy has it over the funnel cake. The funnel cake is also good because as a fried item it therefore crispy. I think I prefer the chewiness of the doughboy to the crunchiness of the funnel cake.
See you next year at the fair! I hear they have this thing called fried apple pie…