I’m all a-twitter for fritters!
(Okay, that was kinda lame.)
But there is something special about fritters–and it’s why National Fritters Day is so awesome. Fritters can be sweet or savory, made from just about any food item you can easily bread, and are found in culinary cultures all over the world. All hail the humble fritter! The basic definition of a fritter is a food item that can be covered in batter or breading and then deep-fried. Some of the most popular fritters in American culture are the sweet apple fritters, the savory seafood fritters, and a Southern fast food staple, the corn fritter. It’s that great American pastime of taking wholesome, delicious home-cooked food…and then deep fry them to death! I couldn’t think of a better way to eat 😛
One of the most successful formulas for making great food is: take what’s already delicious, and then make it bite-sized. Boqueria in the Flatiron District does this in spades, when they took salted cod fish and deep-fried it into little cod fritters. One of the most iconic ways to eat fish–fish & chips, anyone?–is to cover it in batter and deep-fry it, so why not transform that into bite-sized cod fritters and serve them up as a small plate? You can definitely say it’s successful, with media giants like The New York Times and Lonely Planet taking notice of this particular dish. Served with a citrus aioli that helps cut the fat of the fried batter, this appetizer is perfect to share with friends or for a quick bite during your lunch hour. And at $6 per plate, it’s way more affordable than a Shackburger–and you don’t have to spend 95% of your lunch waiting in line to get it, either.
53 W 19th St (between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
“This expansive, welcoming tapas joint features classics as well as new twists on the expected, and you can watch them being assembled as you sip your unique beer-and-pear sangria and peer into the open kitchen here. Standouts include the pan-roasted brussels sprouts with chorizo, mushroom-chicken croquettes and salt-cod fritters, as well as the selection of hard and soft cheeses.”–Lonely Planet
“Usually for better but sometimes for worse, the chef, Seamus Mullen, relishes salty effects: the regularly offered tapas include salt cod fritters and a salt cod brandade, both satisfying, and a media ración presents frisée with salt cod and white anchovies, a dish that teetered into salty excess.”–The New York Times
“Just beyond the entrance, cheeses of the evening are featured deli style, and to their right, Serrano hams and Spanish breads. The fresh-fruit sangria (choose red, white, rosé, or beer) is perfectly balanced. On the menu, choose from three tapas sizes–small, medium, or large. For $6, small plates like Salted Cod Fritters, Lamb with Cumin, or Serrano Ham with Melon serve as a light meal for two (if you order enough of them). If you can find a seat in this crowded hotspot, you’ll be glad you came.”–Noche Latina
“There were six of us, and even though the Brunch menu looked amazing, we opted to stick with the tapas y raciones menu so that we could taste (and eat) as much as possible. The first bite to arrive at the table were the bunuelos de bacalao, which are salt-cod fritters with citrus aioli; the fritters were crispy and delicious, and the sauce was put aside on the table for all future dipping.”–Give And Get NYC
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Our last savory was the bunuelos de bacalao – salt cod fritters. More often than not when you order fritters, they come served in the form of a quenelle and therefore dense. Not these, they were little itty bites of fried deliciousness. Perfect size. According to our waitress, this was a recent innovation — bravo team Boqueria.”–Sarina H.
“and my favorite were the cod fritters. Tiny little balls filled with creamy cod goodness. I got a little overzealous with them and BURNED the roof of my mouth… but it was worth it. Still dreaming of the cod fritters.”–Monique R.
For those who just can’t get enough sweet food holidays, there’s always the apple fritter. Made from a batter with chunks of real apples, apple fritters tend to be lumped into the “doughnut” universe, but they can be far more appetizing than mere fried dough. Apple fritters tend to be chewier and moister than doughnuts, and while doughnuts have the bad habit of having a long shelf life, the best apple fritters are always eaten fresh. Which is why you’ve got to go straight to the source in New York City: D’Aiuto’s Bakery. Home of the mass-produced famous “Baby Watson” cheesecakes, the unsung hero at D’Aiuto’s is the apple fritter. Way bigger than a doughnut–more like a Grizzly bear claw!–the fritter is moist and tasty, with a crunchy fried exterior and a soft, chewy inside. What’s even better is that D’Aiuto’s fritters are extremely cheap, and can serve as your entire breakfast. If you can’t make it to the source, D’Aiuto’s sells their fritters to Dean & Deluca stores citywide, so there’s no excuse not to indulge today.
405 8th Ave (between 30th St & 31st St)
“It’s not exactly a looker, but this enormous fritter from D’aiuto — the 1924 bakery famous for inventing the Baby Watson cheesecake — is a delicious treat, not too sweet and strewn with caramelized apples on top. You’ll find it at gourmet shops such as Dean & DeLuca, but they’re cheapest here.”–The New York Post
“Though D’Aiuto bakery is best known for its crustless “Baby Watson” cheesecake, the hidden gem here is the apple fritter. Crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, studded with apple pieces and covered in plenty of sweet glaze (so much that it soaks through), this beauty clocks in at well over a half pound. It’s more than big enough to share, but you might not want to. D’Aiuto’s fritters are sold at Dean & Deluca’s around the city for $3.50, but you can get them from the source for $2.25.”–Real Cheap Eats
“Ignore the signs for the bakery’s Baby Watson cheesecakes. In fact, ignore everything else in the place—the giant, stale cupcakes, the soggy, overly sweet danishes, the insipid, sawdust-textured cookies. Ignore everything but the apple fritters. Weighing in at about a pound apiece, these dark golden-brown dough bombs studded with apples are crisp and delicious. For $2 or so, one can easily satisfy four people.”–Cook And Eat Better
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“I’m a big donut fan and their donuts are among some of the best in the city. Not only are they large and inexpensive (less than a dollar), the D’aiuto donut’s chewy and slightly-malty interior really shines. Their glazed donuts beat the crap out of Peter Pan any time of the day. Also if you’re really hungry, try the giant apple fritter. It could practically feed a family of four and its perfectly fried so that the edges are just crisped and the center is just cooked through but still moist and chewy.”–Jeff L.
“I couldn’t decide, but they had a lot of signage around advertising their apple fritters, and I figured they know what they do best. That was a good call. Their apple fritter is awesome. Super sweet, with big, flat chunks of apple in the dough. It’s also a monstrous beast, size-wise. I ate about 1/3 before I admitted defeat and packed it into my bag for another day.”–Kate B.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!