The human race has come a long way from hunting and gathering. Learning to manipulate the world around us and harnessing the power of fire, we began to cook our food and gradually worked our way out of the food chain.
But no achievement from these humble beginnings showcased the ingenuity of our species quite like the day we began frying our food.
Somewhere along the line, across oceans and continents, we universally decided to chop up our favorite dishes, coat them with dough, and drop the resulting shape into a bubbling vat of oil.
Because we’re brilliant. Here are three global variations on the “Throw stuff in dough and fry until amazing” you have to try.
In 19th century Limeira, Brazil, a young prince had some mental issues, but a very sane love of chicken thighs. When the kitchen ran out of thighs one day, the chef improvised by mashing meat from other parts of the chicken, covering pieces with dough and shaped them like a thigh. The resulting fried delicacy became a hit with the entire royal family, the town, and eventually all of Brazil.
This is the most common story associated with the origin of these Brazilian croquettes and who isn’t down with a fairy tale ending that involves the mass enjoyment of conical fried chicken?
What samosas (aka sambusas or samsas) lack in the fairytale department, they make up for in international disputes over the pastry’s origin. While India is currently the most associated with samosas, it’s common knowledge that the dish has roots in the Middle East at least as early as the 11th century.
Indian samosas tend to be vegetarian, but you can find meat in most Middle Eastern sambusas and samsas.
These fried balls of risotto and meat ragu can sometimes look like Coxinhas. They were first made in Sicily under Kalbid rule (an Arabic conqueror), but their taste is unmistakably Italian. The Kalbid’s irrigation techniques made it possible for rice to be grown on Sicily and, thus, a star was born. A gooey, meaty, sometimes cheesy star.