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Angel wings are a traditional sweet crisp pastry made out of dough that has been shaped into thin twisted ribbons, deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Traditionally present in several European cuisines, angel wings are known by many other names and have been incorporated into other regional cuisines (such as the United States) by immigrant populations. They are most commonly eaten in the period just before Lent, often during Carnival and on Fat Thursday, the last Thursday before Lent – not to be confused with "Fat Tuesday" (Mardi Gras), the day before the start of Lent (Ash Wednesday). There is a tradition in some countries for husbands to give angel wings to their wives on Friday the 13th in order to avoid bad luck.[where?]
- egg yolks
- confectioners' sugar
In the various national cuisines, angel wings are referred to as:
- Belarusian: хрушчы (chruščy) or фаворкі (favorki)
- Croatian: krostole
- Danish: Klejner
- French: bugnes
- German: Raderkuchen
- Hungarian: csöröge
- Italian: bugie, cenci, chiacchiere, crostoli, frappe, galani, sfrappole
- Lithuanian: žagarėliai
- Maltese: xkunvat
- Polish: faworki, chruścik, chruściki, chrust, chrusty,
- Romanian: minciunele, regionally: cirighele, scovergi
- Russian: хворост (khvorost)
- Slovak: fánka
- Swedish: klenäter
- Ukrainian: вергуни (verhuny)
Variants by country
In France the fried pastry are made in central-eastern France, including Lyon and Saint-Étienne, and are closely related to beignets. Traditionally, Lyon cold meat shops sold bugnes just before Lent, due to their high fat content. They are also made in the home as a way of using surplus cooking fat, which would be wasted during Lent. More recently, bakeries make them, respecting more or less the tradition of Lent.
French bugnes varieties include crunchy bugnes and soft bugnes. The crunchy variety, known as "bugnes lyonnaises" ("Lyon bugnes"), are cooked in very hot oil with the dough spread out thinly and knotted once or twice. The soft variety, sometimes known as "pillows", are made with a thicker dough, which is rarely knotted.
Hungarian csöröge are made from egg yolk, flour, a leavening agent, sugar, salt and cognac or brandy. They are deep fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are traditional at weddings.
Italian cenci or chiacchiere are eaten at Carnival time. Their various regional names include: frappe (a name shared with similar treats) in Rome; sfrappole in Emilia Romagna; bugie in Genoa; and galani or crostoli in Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia, especially in the Triestino capital, Trieste. Many other regional names exist. Regional variations in the recipe include sprinkling with orange zest or using anisette wine as the alcoholic base.
Chruściki, chrusty, and faworki are the plural forms of the words chruścik, chrust, and faworek, respectively.
The Polish word "faworki" was the name reserved for colourful ribbons attached to either female or male clothing, especially ribbons given to medieval knights by their ladies. Etymologically the word "faworki" came to Poland from the French word faveur, meaning "grace" or "favour".
Verhuny are sweet cookies, fried in oil, which have the form of oblong strips.
Verhuny are a Ukrainian confectionery with non-yeast dough, which includes flour, butter, eggs, sugar and additives such as alcohol (rum, brandy or vodka) or, in extreme cases, vinegar (vinegar sometimes together with alcohol). As substitute for butter, but more often as an additional component in verhuny, milk products (milk, sour cream or cream) are added. Verhuny should only be fried in shortening or vegetable oil.
In the United States, many ethnic bakeries in the cities of Cleveland, Chicago, and Detroit make angel wings, and they are especially popular during the holidays of Easter and Christmas. During those holidays, some bakeries require people to pre-order their angel wings.
In Bulgaria they are known as Kukurini. They are only in the city of Bansko, in South-East Bulgaria. Recipe:
1 Egg per 50gr.flour Flour, as above sugar pinch of salt 2 tbl.sp. oil
Make a dough and roll it as "thin as a newspaper". Cut in diamond shapes and fold them as you prefer, then fry them in deep oil. Afterwards, you sprinkle them with powdered sugar.