Monday, January 17, 2011

z'oreilles de cochon

photo: jetheriot

Z'oreilles de cochon ("pig ears") are a type of pastry popular in Catahoula, Louisiana. Originally, the dough was cut into strips which were crimped in the middle with tongs when they were placed in frying oil, giving the pastries a shape reminiscent of the folded-over ear of a pig. Refinements to the process were made and today the dough is cut into circles and stretched to the size of a plate before frying. As it fries, it may be gently crimped and twisted with tongs. This produces a thin, crispy pastry with thick, chewy edges and pillowy folds of fried dough in the center. After frying, the pastry is drizzled with cane syrup, topped with chopped pecans and eaten as soon as possible.

These photographs were taken as over one thousand circles of dough were prepared for the Church Fair in Catahoula which was held on the last weekend in April, 2009. This tradition has been going strong for over thirty years.