Are Buñuelos Good for Breakfast? YES!!
I confess, I totally LOVE Colombian buñuelos!!
If you put the word buñuelo into an online translator you’ll get back “fritter” or “donut”. I cannot tell you what a buñuelo is like in other Spanish speaking countries, since I have only had the Colombian version. But I can tell you for sure that the ones here are absolutely delicious and unlike any fritter or doughnut I’ve ever eaten before.
What are buñuelos like in Colombia?
FIRST: Buñuelos are deep fried like a donut, and you’ll end up with about the same amount of material to eat as a good-sized USA style donut, but that’s where the similarities end. Here they usually come in a round spherical shape. But sometimes they come looking like a mini-football. The consistency is somewhat like the older “cake” style donuts in the USA. Except buñuelos are much lighter, fluffier and smoother inside.
SECOND: This is the best part of all (for me)…. Colombian buñuelos are not sweet! No icing, no sugar sprinkles, and the dough itself is not sweet. There is actually cheese in the traditional recipe. Some recipes say to use Feta cheese, others call for a type of local “farmers” cheese.
I believe this is the magic ingredient that makes these dough balls so satisfyingly delicious. And yet, if you didn’t know there was cheese in them, you would be hard pressed to identify the flavor when you first bite into one. It’s not at all overwhelming cheesy. Just enough to make it a tad salty-savory.
THIRD: Colombian buñuelos are made with either (or both) cornstarch flour and tapioca flour, not wheat flour. I believe this is what gives them a finer softer texture such that they almost melt-in-your-mouth.
My breakfast this morning…
I apologize that there are not two whole buñuelos appearing on my plate. But I was so totally captivated by these delicious treats that I had nearly gobbled up an entire one before I realized that I hadn’t yet taken a photo!
And the price? Two still-warm buñuelos and a hot cup-o-joe set me back 2,000 Colombian Pesos. As of today, that’s 68 cents USD! OMG, I am so in heaven here!
When should you eat buñuelos?
Buñuelos are a traditional Christmas treat in Colombia. So you’ll find them just about everywhere in the month of December. Also, the grocery stores sell ready-made box mixes, much like a box-cake mix. Then all you need to add are the wet ingredients and fry them up. So at this time of year you’ll often see huge displays of Christmas cookies, chocolates, liquor, and… stacks of boxes of buñuelos mix!
Many Colombianos (me included) love to eat them all year around. And if you’re lucky enough to be near a bakery that makes them fresh every morning, you can eat them warm…. even more yummy!
Above you can see the deep fryer and a tray of buñuelos cooling. Below are some of the other goodies offered at this bakery (panaderia) in Armenia.
My favorite bakery that makes buñuelos fresh every day is located down the hill in the town of Armenia. It’s only a block away from my favorite grocery store, where I usually do my bigger grocery shopping trips about once every week or two. So I make it a point to get there before 10 am to enjoy my special treat while they’re still warm.
I actually consider myself lucky that I haven’t found warm fresh buñuelos up here in Salento. If there were, I don’t think I’d be able to resist having them every day. And in no time at all, I myself would be shaped exactly like a mini-football buñuelo!!