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  • Taryn Varricchio: Pastry dough mixed until soft,

  • patted down, and rolled an eighth-inch thick.

  • Cut into perfect 2-inch squares

  • that fly through the air into piping hot oil.

  • Fried until puffy and golden brown.

  • Finished off with a sweet blanket of powdered sugar.

  • It's the expert way that these pastries are cut and fried

  • that makes Café du Monde's beignets

  • a legend in New Orleans.

  • People compare beignets to doughnuts, funnel cake,

  • and other sugar-topped fried pastries.

  • But those who've been to Café du Monde

  • know them as a thing all their own.

  • Customer: It's our, like, decadence.

  • It's who we are.

  • I mean, it's everything about it.

  • You come here,

  • it...

  • I can't describe it.

  • I'm just looking at it because it's like heaven in a bag.

  • Taryn: Beignets start out as a simple pastry dough

  • at Café du Monde,

  • where the bakers are meticulous

  • in the way they mix each batch.

  • Curtis Richardson: Mix it till you get all the lumps out,

  • till it get smooth.

  • It's about 10 minutes at most.

  • Taryn: As for what's inside that mixture?

  • Curtis: I can't tell you. That's a secret. [laughs]

  • Taryn: Based on the ingredient list

  • from Café du Monde's own beignet mix,

  • the dough is made with wheat and barley flours,

  • buttermilk, salt, and sugar.

  • Once it's fully combined,

  • only touch can tell whether it's ready.

  • Curtis: I check to make sure

  • it's just the right feeling for it to throw.

  • I don't want it too soft; I want it just right.

  • I don't want it too hard.

  • See, I have to feel it.

  • If I make it too stiff, beignets will start to shrink up.

  • Taryn: Then Curtis puts the dough

  • through a rolling machine.

  • Curtis: I'm rolling it down

  • so I can run it through the cutter.

  • Brush the excess flour off,

  • get it ready to go into the grease.

  • Producer: Do you ever burn yourself doing that?

  • Curtis: Oh, plenty of times.

  • Still have the marks on my arm.

  • Taryn: Café du Monde fries beignets

  • in cottonseed oil, because...

  • Curtis: It's like a peanut oil.

  • The grease doesn't burn that fast.

  • You cook it at a high temperature.

  • Taryn: You'll see Curtis shake the squares

  • continuously as the pastries cook.

  • Curtis: I'm separating them so they won't stick together,

  • so all of them come out done.

  • Taryn: In five minutes or less,

  • the beignets are puffy and golden brown.

  • Curtis: This point, wait for the waiters to come in

  • and bag them up and take them out to the window to serve.

  • Taryn: Shovels of powdered sugar

  • empty into the bags immediately

  • after the beignets leave the fryer.

  • That's when the sugar easily clings to the surface

  • and when the pastries taste their best.

  • Customer: Listen.

  • You have to get them hot. Like, extremely hot.

  • Because it's like, do you see that?

  • Like, it's so airy and light.

  • I gotta take another bite.

  • It's so good!

  • Customer: Better than a doughnut.

  • Way better than a doughnut.

  • It's just soft and chewy and excellent.

  • And we always wear black

  • so that we can have powdered sugar all over us

  • and everybody knows where we've been.

  • Curtis: So, most customers like a lot of sugar.

  • They like a lot.

  • Producer: Do they come back asking for more?

  • Curtis: Yes, they do all the time.

  • All the time.

  • Taryn: Café du Monde has been open

  • in the French Quarter for almost 160 years,

  • all the while serving the same two items on the menu.

  • Customer: With some black coffee,

  • it's just, like, the perfect combination.

  • Customer: Yeah. It's a perfect mixture of

  • tart and sweetness that it kind of just,

  • it totally combines with each other.

  • Taryn: And for decades, food publications,

  • famous figures, and customers from all over the world

  • have praised this sweet fried dough.

  • Jay Roman: There are a few things that you think

  • of New Orleans immediately.

  • The river, the cathedral, a Pat O'Brien's Hurricane maybe,

  • a Café du Monde beignet.

  • This is what you come to New Orleans for.

  • Customer: First stop when we get to New Orleans.

  • Customer: This is on the list of where we gotta go.

  • Customer: Even if you don't like beignets,

  • you kind of have to try it,

  • because it's just part of the New Orleans tradition

  • and history, culture.

Taryn Varricchio: Pastry dough mixed until soft,

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Café du Monde’s Beignet | Legendary Eats

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/03
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