The Buñuelo Transaction

Rudy Giron: Antigua Guatemala &emdash; The Buñuelo Transaction

As I mentioned yesterday, Cuaresma [Lent] has street food that is sold at the booths outside the church where the velación, vigil, is taking place. Normally, velaciones are held Fridays and Saturdays, sometimes the vigils begin on Wednesdays. Some of this food is also found during other religious celebrations; such is the case with buñuelos, which I believe were first covered during the Christmas season.

Buñuelos are a fried bread served with star anise syrup. If you need it put plainly, buñuelos would be the Guatemalan equivalent of French toast served with a sweet dunk-in syrup.

By the way, the order of buñuelos is now Q15/$2; up from Q10/$1.25 from a few years ago. How many orders would you like?

Thanks to Erin, loyal and long-time reader from AntiguaDailyPhoto, here we have the recipe for the buñuelos:

Making buñuelos at home can be a little bit tricky because the altitude will affect the dough. Having said that, don’t be afraid to try, it will be worthy!

Bring to boil 1 cup of water and remove from heat. Optional: you might like to infuse the water with a cinnamon stick and a teaspoon of anise seeds; just be careful to remove them before adding the flour.

At once, add 1 cup of all purpose flour and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon (don’t use your hands, the mixture will be really hot).

When the water/flour mix is lightly warm, add 4 eggs, ONE AT A TIME, and continue mixing until everything is well incorporated and the dough looks velvety.

Cover the mixture with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for at least a couple of hours (I prefer overnight).

In a deep pan or a fryer, at medium temperature, heat a large amount of vegetable oil; using 2 spoons, drop small portions of the dough (donuts holes is a good reference for the size), and let them fry until golden. One of the nicest features of the buñuelos is that they float and turn around in the oil by themselves!

Once the buñuelos are golden and crispy, remove them from the oil and let them rest over paper towels.

To serve the buñuelos the traditional way, make a syrup combining and bringing to a boil, equal amounts of water and sugar, a cinnamon stick and anise seeds. I prefer the syrup less sweet, so I use two parts of water and one part of sugar and right at the end, when I turn-off the heat, I like to add a cup of sherry or marsala.

In a small bowl, put 3 buñuelos (they look pretty in trios) and pour over about 1/2 cup of the warm syrup.


Take a photo tour through the different street food offerings found during Cuaresma [Lent], simply follow the white rabbit through the Lent Food category. ¡Buen provecho!

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