Beignet originated in New Orleans in the 1700s when Franco-Creole settlers settled the land, according to NewOrleans.com. Also known as French Acadians, they moved to bayou lands in Louisiana after being driven from their homes in the Nova Scotia region by the British, Britannica reports.
Years later, in 1862, iconic New Orleans restaurant Café du Monde opened and sold the original donut, reports What’s Cooking America. To this day, Café du Monde sells donuts 24 hours a day, every day of the week – and it’s the only item the company serves, aside from its famous chicory and hot chocolate coffee. In addition to Café du Monde, other New Orleans businesses sell the pastry and often with a twist, according to NewOrleans.com. For example, Loretta’s Authentic Pralines offers donuts filled with pralines. The city also holds an annual Donut Festival in October. The beignet became so popular even outside of New Orleans that it was named Louisiana’s State Donut in 1986, according to What’s Cooking America.
If you can’t make it to New Orleans to enjoy a donut, don’t worry because they can also be made at home. Don’t forget to dust them generously with icing sugar and enjoy them with a hot coffee with milk. A little jazz in the background wouldn’t hurt either.