At Vallebona, a tiny old village in the backcountry of Bordighera – west Italian Riviera – sweet fritters ( bugie in Italian, bouxie in dialect) are a traditional recipes prepared not at Carnival (as it is usual in many Italian places, Genoa included) but at the end of the Spring.
This sweet in fact was (and still is) usually prepared to celebrate the harvest of bitter orange blossoms whereby orange blossom water – the hero of this recipe – is produced in Vallebona since ages.
Orange blossom water today is a Slow Food presidia. Just one historical producer, La Vecchia Distilleria, thanks to the determination of the young Pietro Guglielmi, succeeded to survive tree frosts and the chemical industries overwhelming competition and today continues distilling this refreshing and seductive fragrance exactly as centuries ago.
As at home is tradition to cook bugie at Carnival – actually my granny used to prepare mountains of bugie for us and for our friends – and I have a deep passion for orange blossom water, this is the recipe of the moment in my kitchen.
These fritters with orange blossom water are a bit different from those prepared in other parts of Italy. They have straight borders and the dough is a little bit thicker (no bubbles will appear on the surface during frying). Once fried they must be immediately flood with orange blossom water (use a spray) and generously dusted with granulated sugar.
You will see: at each bite the sugar will creak under your teeth while the flowery and seductive orange blossom water will caresses your nostrils making you feel in the middle of a lawn at spring time. You will never stop eating them!!
Did I convinced you? Unfortunately La Vecchia Distilleria does not shop online and by the way they already finished the last year production, sigh. Their orange blossom water is so excellent that the stocks end in a couple of months! But if you want to prepare this fritters with orange blossom water no problem! I saw that Amazon sells it but be careful not to buy the essence of orange blossoms, Neroli, which is used as a perfume and is too strong for cooking!
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