kids encyclopedia robot

Buñuelo facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Bunyol de carabassa.jpg
Typical Spanish pumpkin buñuelo
Alternative names Bunyol, bimuelo, birmuelo, bermuelo, burmuelo, bonuelo
Type Doughnut, fritter
Course Snack, bread
Place of origin Spain
Region or state Southwest Europe, Latin America, and parts of Africa and Asia
Serving temperature Hot or room temperature

A buñuelo ( alternatively called bimuelo, birmuelo, bermuelo, burmuelo, or bonuelo; Catalan: bunyol) is a fried dough fritter found in Southwest Europe, Latin America, and parts of Africa and Asia. It is traditionally prepared at Christmas, Ramadan, and among Sephardic Jews at Hanukkah. It will usually have a filling or a topping. In Mexican cuisine, it is often served with a syrup made with piloncillo.

Buñuelos are first known to have been consumed among Spain's Morisco population. They typically consist of a simple, wheat-based yeast dough, often flavored with anise, that is thinly rolled, cut or shaped into individual pieces, then fried and finished off with a sweet topping. Buñuelos may be filled with a variety of things, sweet or savory. They can be round in ball shapes or disc-shaped. In Latin America, buñuelos are seen as a symbol of good luck.


Fritters are known in Mediterranean cuisine from the work of Cato the Elder who included a recipe with the name "balloons" in his book De Agri Cultura, which was written in the second century BC. In that recipe, flour and cheese balls were fried and served with a spread made of honey and poppy seeds.

The society following the Roman one that consumed buñuelos was the Moorish. Its citizens, people of humble means, who inhabited the southern territories of the Iberian Peninsula and occupied low-level jobs, also served as street vendors selling buñuelos. In Seville and Granada, honey-fried buñuelos covered in honey were typical dessert. On the other hand, this specialty was adopted by the gypsies after the Moorish expulsion and perpetuated until today.

A 19th century recipe from California, described as pasta de freir (dough to fry), is made by folding whipped egg whites into a mixture of flour, water, sugar, oil and orange blossom water. This is used as a batter to fry apples or other fruit. A variation called suspiros de monjas (nun's sighs) includes butter and egg yolks. Buñuelos de Valparaiso are garnished with walnuts and sherry or maraschino flavored simple syrup.

Regional adaptations

Home-made buñuelos
Homemade Colombian Buñuelos
Cascaron- fried mochi balls (12486482804)
Cascaron, a Filipino derivative made with ground glutinous rice
Philippine buñuelo (bunwelo) doughnuts with ube filling
Filipino bunwelos with ube filling
  • In Spain, the buñuelos are a dessert and snack typical in many autonomous communities and, especially, during their regional holidays. Each territory incorporates its own ingredients and its own tradition. One of the best known is the wind buñuelo, a species of fritter.
Bunyols amb xocolate
Chocolate fritters

In Catalonia, they are consumed mostly during Lent. The most famous are those of wind, cream and Brunyols de l'Empordà. They are usually eaten as a snack or to accompany coffee after lunch.

In Valencia, the highest consumption is concentrated in festivities such as Fallas de Valencia, where pumpkin buñuelos are made.

In the Balearic Islands, there are sweet fritters for different parties of the year (Las Vírgenes, Todos los Santos, Lent, etc.) and, depending on the occasion, they can contain potato or sweet potato, Mahón cheese, dried figs, etc.

In Madrid and Andalusia, they are consumed with special assiduity during the Festival of Saints, during which it was customary for women to prepare them in the houses and sell them or give them to neighbors, especially in the villages.

In some regions of Spain, buñuelos find a strong competitor in churros, which are increasingly widespread at parties normally associated with buñuelos. On the other hand, in Catalonia, churros are primarily consumed by tourists; Catalans prefer the xuixos or chuchos in churrerías or the buñuelos in their multiple forms in bakeries or in houses.

  • In the Dominican Republic, buñuelos are rolled into balls from a dough made of cassava (called yuca) and eggs. They are then covered in a cinnamon sugar syrup, often using coconut milk instead of water.
  • In Nicaragua, buñuelos are made from cassava, eggs, and white grating cheese. The buñuelos are rolled into balls and deep fried. They are served alongside a syrup made of sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. They are eaten year-round, and are a typical side dish or snack served during holidays.
  • In the Philippines, buñuelos (also called bunwelos, bunuelos, binowilos, etc.) can be shaped like a ball, a pancake, a cylinder, or even a doughnut. They are commonly eaten with tsokolate, the local hot chocolate drink. There are also unique local variants of buñuelos, the most common is cascaron (also bitsu-bitsu) which is made with ground glutinous rice (galapong) rather than regular flour. Another variant is bunwelos na saging, which is made with mashed bananas added into the mixture, similar to maruya, a Filipino banana fritter.
  • In Puerto Rico, buñuelos are small and round. The dough is often made with milk, baking powder, egg, and flour. Apio, cassava, grated corn, cornflour, potato, sweet potatoes, taro, yams, rice flour, chickpea flour, and sweet plantains can be added and are well known in Puerto Rican cuisine scenes of the 1800s. They are often filled with cheese and ham for breakfast. They are popular around Christmas served in syrup made from sugar and spices or honey and spices or lemon, suger and ginger or guava syrup.
  • In Peru, buñuelos resemble picarones in shape (round and ring shaped) but lack yam or squashes as in picarones. Made of flour, water, sugar, anise, and yeast, they are served with a sweet syrup made of chancaca (sugar cane derived sweet). They are a common street food native to Arequipa.
  • In Italy, they are usually served with cream, and popular during Carnival time, in particular in the North-East of the country.
  • in Uruguay sweet buñuelos are made with apples and bananas and covered in sugar. Salty variations are traditionally made of spinach, cow fat and seaweed. Seaweed buñuelos are considered a delicacy in Rocha Department.

There are also buñuelos in Turkey, India, and Russia. Jews in Turkey make buñuelos with matzo meal and eat them during Passover.

In many Latin American countries, this particular dish can also be made with flour tortillas, and covered in sugar or cinnamon.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Buñuelo para niños

kids search engine
Buñuelo Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.