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Mexicans celebrate Christmas with sweet buñuelos
Fried dessert traditionally served at holidays
Gloria Zuniga picks up fried buñuelos at her home in Gainesville on Dec. 7. - photo by For The Times

Buñuelos bring sweet memories of family and Christmas for many Mexicans.

It’s a traditional holiday dessert you can count on having at Mexican Christmas parties.

The dish is made of cornflour dough rolled out similar to a tortilla and fried then topped with sugar. 

Gloria Zuniga said she has been making buñuelos since she was a young girl. 

“Back when my whole family was in Mexico we would have big family gatherings and all my sisters and cousins would get together to make some buñuelos,” Gloria said  “I would see my mother make them back in our gatherings, and that’s how I learned how to make them, just by observing “

While Gloria was making them, her daughter Giselle Zuniga, a student at East Hall High School, was watching her mother with quite attentiveness. 

“I see how important buñuelos are in my family during the holidays, but I know that it’s not just any other typical Mexican dish. This dish is more important because in a sense we’re keeping our Mexican roots attached and not forgetting about our culture,” Giselle said. Gloria hopes her second oldest daughter will pick up the tradition. 

“When I make them, I try to show my kids what buñuelos are and how important they are to our culture so that one day when I’m no longer here, they can pass this tradition to their kids,” Gloria said. 

While making them, Gloria told of how they used to make them in Mexico when there were up to 15 people doing buñuelos at the same time. 

“Back in the day when we did them with all my cousins and sisters, we would have to put the dough on our knees and stretch the dough on there because we didn’t have enough rolling pins,” Gloria said “When we did them with family, since there were so many of us, the guys would be in charge of putting them in a pot full of oil so that they could cook while we formed them.”

Making buñuelos takes up to an hour depending on how many people are helping and how many are made. When making them, Gloria took an hour, but her daughter was helping her dress the buñuelos with sugar while she cooked them. 

“This dish is one of my favorites; it brings back so many great memories, and it’s a holiday favorite,” Gloria said.

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