Buñuelos are a symbol of good luck manifested in fried dough bearing a snowflake-like shape to be eaten while enjoying posadas and other holiday events.
Recipes for buñuelos have been written down since the second century BC and latched onto by the Moors who brought the tasty treat to the Spanish who then floated it over to Mexico during the conquest. No less intellectual than the infamous 1600s feminist featured on the 200 peso note, Sor Juana, included three buñuelos recipes in her books when not writing about “God help the men who underestimate the intelligence of women”.
During Colonial times, it was common for thisdessert to be made in convents. In December evenings, nuns would go to the doors of their convent with big trays of buñuelos to add to the holiday cheer.
Wind buñuelos (those with holes) are featured here in San Miguel de Allende, a reminder to the indigenous belief that you didn’t want the god of wind to linger, notice your baby and take it with him. Best to always let the god of the wind pass on through, even in holiday treats!
The best buñuelos in town are sold each weekend by Jose and her daughter in her front courtyard next door to the old Via Organica location, by Gil’s supermarket in colonia Guadalupe. They are yummy!
Many cultures adopted their own versions buñuelos in the Americas, resulting in recipes such as waffles, donuts, churros and my Southern fair favorite, funnel cakes. Buñuelos are different in that the consistency of the dough is lighter, crispier and features said holes.
by Joseph Toone
- TripAdvisor’s top tour guide with History and Culture Walking Tours and Joseph Toone Tours.
- Amazon’s best selling author of the San Miguel de Allende Secrets books.
- Author of the Maria Dolls coloring book helping indigenous doll makers.
- Creator of San Miguel de Allende Secrets YouTube channel with over 100 videos and 1,500 views monthly.