[ben-yey; Fr. be-nye]
A beignet ([bεɲ.e] pronounced ben–YAY, from the Middle French word for "bump"), in American English, refers to a pastry made from deep-fried dough and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, effectively a sort of French doughnut. Beignets are often found in, and typically associated with, the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. savory#Adjective versions of beignets are also popular as an appetizer, with fillings such as crawfish or shrimp.

The term beignet can be applied to two varieties, depending on the type of pastry. The French doughnut beignet in the United States is simply a deep-fried choux pastry; this variety is very similar to Italian zeppole. Beignets can be made with yeast pastry as well however - such yeast donuts might be called boules de Berlin in French, referring to Berliner doughnuts which have a ball shape filled with fruit or jam. This variety is similar to the Polish pączki.

In France, beignet is an umbrella term for a large variety of pastries made from deep-fried dough with fruit or vegetable filling. They may contain other fillings, as well: potatoes, mushrooms, or even meat. The tradition of deep-frying fruits for a side dish dates to the time of Ancient Rome. Names for beignet recipes can differ throughout France - beignets, bugnes, merveilles, oreillettes, beignets de carnaval, bottereaux, tourtisseaux, corvechets, ganses, nouets, vautes and more.

The western parts of Germany took over the name beignet mainly for beignet variants with a fruit filling while referring to other variants as Krapfen.

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