Here at Caffe Vignette, we’re often asked, what are beignets and how did they end up in a local coffee shop in Warner Robins? Beignets have a long and rich history, dating back centuries! Continue reading to learn more, and if you’d like to taste the best beignets in town, visit Caffe Vignette today!
History Of The Beignet
A beignet (pronounced ben-YAY), is a French-style, square-shaped fried doughnut, dusted with powdered sugar. The word “beignet” loosely means “fritter” in English. It is served in American cafes and diners, and it’s eaten at any time of day — often with a great cup of coffee! Here at Caffe Vignette, we serve artisan coffee and beignets and we also sell beignet mix if you’d like to try whipping a batch up at home!
The precise origins of the beignet are unknown, but many believe that they were brought to New Orleans by French colonists who settled there in the eighteenth century. Later on, once sugar became readily available, the fried dough was sweetened with sugar and cinnamon. In the nineteenth century, beignets were sold by street vendors in the French Quarter of New Orleans. They soon became popular throughout the city, and in the early twentieth century were served in restaurants and cafes.
The Official State Doughnut of Louisiana
While beignets are enjoyed all over the United States, they’re particularly associated with New Orleans, and they were named the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986. Cafe du Monde is the premier place to get beignets in New Orleans, and the cafe has been serving its beignets for more than 150 years. They pair their beignets with cafe au lait, a dark roast chicory coffee with warm milk.
Beignets are served hot, fresh, and with generous amounts of powdered sugar. They can be eaten like doughnuts, with your fingers. Some people find the powdered sugar is easier to brush off if they use a fork when eating them! While beignets are typically plain with powdered sugar, some popular variations include adding chocolate or cream filling.
So there you have it! The history of the beignet. If you’re ever in New Orleans, be sure to try one (or a whole plateful) at Cafe du Monde — you won’t regret it! And if you can’t make it down to New Orleans, don’t worry — you can always get your beignet fix at Caffe Vignette in Warner Robins!