Warm beignets – sweet taste of New Orleans

Don’t mistake these Praline Beignets for doughnuts. They’re actually one of New Orleans’ two iconic sweets. Enlarge photo

Matthew Mead/Associated Press

Don’t mistake these Praline Beignets for doughnuts. They’re actually one of New Orleans’ two iconic sweets.

It may look like a doughnut. It may be filled or glazed like a doughnut. It may even be cooked like a doughnut. But don’t call it a doughnut.

It’s a beignet. And it’s one of New Orleans’ two iconic sweets (the other being the party loving king cake). With Mardi Gras approaching, it’s a perfect time to get to know beignets.

Truth is, beignets are a form of doughnut or fried dough. They originated in France, where the term is used to describe a wide variety of fried treats that are filled with fruit or jam. In New Orleans, they traditionally are served with a cup of coffee and chicory au lait.

To celebrate Mardi Gras, we’re offering our take on the beignet, a praline beignet with cafe au lait icing. And of course, you also could add the traditional showering of powdered sugar.