Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
What are 'Faworki'?
'Faworki' are sweet, crispy, fried pastry straws called very often 'chrust' (in some parts of Poland also described as 'chrusciki' or 'jaworki').
Word 'faworki' came to Poland from Latin via France and means 'grace' or 'favour'. It is connected with the name 'faworki' that used to describe colourful ribbons attached to male or female clothes (especially those that were given by knights to their ladies). And so fried faworki resemble twisted ribbons. Word 'chrust' means in Polish 'brushwood' - as 'faworki' might also resemble small branches of dry wood that are collected to light the fireplace.
Faworki become popular in time of carnival and - especially - on Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Lent). Polish housewives prepare on that day donuts, faworki and other pastries to celebrate that day. On Fat Thursday you can see in Poland long lines of people standing in front of confectioneries and purchasing all kinds of sweets (but donuts and chrust are the most popular among them). In Poland and Germany (where Fat Thursday is celebrated) it is believed that gluttony is allowed on that day as those meals will be soon forbidden during forthcoming Lent. Donuts are traditionally filled with marmalade or special jam made from fried rose petals. They are sprinkled with powdered or icing sugar. Faworki are sprinkled with powdered sugar to strengthen their sweet taste.
How to make 'Faworki?'
5 Egg yolks
2 Tablespoons sour cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon vinegar, lemon juice or pure spirit
500g of oil for frying
powdered sugar to sprinkle Faworki
Mix flour, egg yolks, sour cream, sugar and vinegar together. Knead the dough until it is as hard as if you were making a dough for dumplings. Beat it with a rolling-pin so it blisters and leave for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough thinly and cut into stripes (about 10-12 cm long and 2-3 cm wide). Cut a small slit in the middle of each stripe, pass one of its sides through it and afterwards pull it through (to make a shape of a twisted ribbon).
Start frying Faworki in hot oil (on each side) until they gain golden colour. After taking Faworki out from the oil, place them on the kitchen roll (to drain). Put them on the plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar (might be mixed with vanilla sugar).
Good luck with making 'Chrust'! Just be careful - when you start eating them you cannot resist until the plate is empty.