History of Food

History of Food

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Corn Fritters

Corn Fritters are a savory snack. Traditional corn fritters are a mixture of corn kernels, egg, flour, milk, and melted butter. They can be deep fried, shallow fried, or baked and served with jam, fruit, honey, or cream. They may also be made with creamed corn, baked, and served with maple syrup.

Every 16th of July in the United States, people all over the country fry up a batch or two of corn fritters in celebration of a little known holiday called National Corn Fritters Day. On this day, the crispy fritters (which are made from corn kernels and various other ingredients, and are sometimes also called Southern bread) are enjoyed at tables across the nation. 12 Although many people may have never even heard of this food, it is commonly seen as a snack or a side dish in Southern regions.
Several cultures have a version of the corn fritter besides the United States. Asian cuisine, for example, boasts a fritter made with chopped vegetables (sometimes including corn) that is typically served with a spicy dipping sauce.

In a broader sense a fritter is any kind of food coated in batter and deep fried. Although very similar to a doughnut it differs in the fact that it requires some base ingredient beyond the dough it is cooked with.  Although containing soft centres within fritters can be tricky, it is a common misconception that in this case they contain bread. Fritters are exclusively dough- or batter-based foodstuffs.  The fritter is popular in a multide of cultures, ranging from various countries and definitions. 
In British fish and chip shops, the fish and chips can be accompanied by "fritters", which means a food item, such as a slice of potato, a pineapple ring, an apple ring or chunks, or some mushy peas, fried in batter. Hence: "potato fritter", "pineapple fritter", "apple fritter", "pea fritter", etc.
In the United States, fritters are small cakes made with a primary ingredient that is mixed with an egg and milk batter and either pan-fried or deep-fried; wheat flour, cornmeal, or a mix of the two may be used to bind the batter. "Corn fritters" are often made with whole canned corn and are generally deep-fried. "Apple fritters" are well known, although the American apple fritter is unlike the British one. Clam cakes and crab cakes are varieties of fritter. Another regional favourite is the "zucchini fritter."

In Asia the fritter can be found in , Malaysia, Brunei. Indonesia and Japan. 

In Indonesia assorted fritters is called gorengan (Indonesian: fritters), many kinds of fritters were sold on travelling cart or street side vendors. Various kinds of ingredients were battered and deep fried such as pisang goreng (banana fritter), tempeh, tofu, oncom, sweet potato, cassava chunk, cassava flour, breadfruit, and flour with chopped vegetables (carrot and cabbage). Gorengan were usually eaten with fresh bird's eye chili. Another type of Indonesian fritter are perkedel jagung (corn fritter) and perkedel kentang (mashed potato fritter).

In Malaysia and Brunei, it is common for a variety of fritters, called "cucur" (such as yam, sweet potato and banana) to be fried by the roadside in a large wok and sold as snacks.

In Japanese cuisine tempura is vegetable or seafood dipped and fried in a light crispy batter and served as a common accompaniment to meals. Fritters are extremely popular roadside snacks all over South Asia and are commonly referred to as Pakora (Pakoda) or Bhajji (Bhajia) in local parlance - the onion bhaji also enjoys a high popularity abroad.

The cultural diversity of fritters within the United Statues is as broad as the population diversity of the continent.  There are also various types of fritters that when examining these types one might even have thought it was a fritter.  One examples is the croquette which is is a small fried food roll containing usually as main ingredients mashed potatoes, and/or minced meat (veal, beef, chicken, or turkey), shellfish, fish, vegetables, and soaked white bread, egg, onion, spices and herbs, wine, milk, beer or any of the combination thereof, sometimes with a filling, often encased in breadcrumbs.  Another example the beignet (French for "fried dough") in the U.S. is a pastry made from deep-fried dough, much like a doughnut, and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, or frostings. Savory versions of beignets are also popular as an appetizer, with fillings such as maple or fruit preserves.  Thanks to Emeril Lagasse for increasing the popularity of the beignet through his love for Louisanian cuisine. 

The precise origins of the food holiday called National Corn Fritters Day are somewhat ambiguous. It is not entirely clear how the day got its start. Corn fritters themselves, however, are typically associated with the American South and this is related to southern cuisine containing fried foods and corn fritters are fried.. This region is known around the world for producing various fried comfort foods, and corn is a traditional American ingredient that has been used in the country for centuries. What is consistent is the need for whole kernel corn and corn meal to be used in the recipe to make a true Corn Fritter.

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