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American Donuts (or Doughnuts) vs Argentine Facturas

September 18, 2011

First of all, both of these foods have funny names. A dough-nut? Well the dough part I understand but nut? That makes no sense.

In Spanish, factura also means “bill” as in your telephone bill.

So why these two foods came to signify a doughy, sweet, breakfast food is beyond me. However, this has nothing to do with their qualitative differences.

Let us examine the flavor profiles of these two yummy food. Yes, let me reiterate here at the top, that they are both yummy and delicious foods. The well made medialuna (the Argentine croissant) really has nothing on the glazed donut and vice versa. They are two different styles. The medialuna is much lighter and baked and the donut is fried. There you have the primary difference.

I also feel that donuts are much sweeter than facturas in general. Here is where I am partial to donuts, especially the maple bar and the apple fritter. They have a sweetness that satisfies a craving. When getting medialunas or other facturas, I find I really have to look for the right ones in order to satisfy my sweet craving. Occasionally you will find the panaderia that has apple flavored facturas, and quince paste on facturas is ubiquitous, but they put so little on! It’s only ever one bite worth.

I also find that there are many more facturas that are made badly than donuts. Very frequently facturas will be dry, old or poorly made, where I almost never have a problem with a donut.

In terms of cost as well, I find it phenomenal that a dozen donuts costs the same, dollar for dollar as a dozen medialunas. In Argentina, a dozen medialunas is around 20 pesos, or 5 dollars, and in the US the price of a dozen donuts is about the same, unless they are all massive apple fritters (which are really like two donuts).

I’m sure Fernando and I will debate this on BA Cast: The Buenos Aires Podcast soon.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 18, 2011 6:30 pm

    I don’t care much for facturas–to me they are nothing like the flaky, light and elegant croissants of France.

    But I am a huge donut fan! There is nothing like a glazed donut with a cup of coffee. I like the glazed donut holes even more. Cake donuts are ok, but the “French” crullers are the best, topped with chocolate frosting.

    Last time I was in the U.S. I had a bacon maple sugar donut that was to die for; breakfast in a bite.

    Here in BsAs I almost never eat pastries. Which is probably a good thing.

    • September 18, 2011 7:30 pm

      Thanks for the comment Cherie! Yeah, I’m here in the USA right now and made a donut run this morning which inspired the blog. The best apple fritters (my drug of choice) are made just down the street from where I grew up!

  2. September 18, 2011 8:36 pm

    I agree that facturas and doughnuts are really two different beasts. I love doughnuts (I prefer cake doughnuts to yeast doughnuts), but a well-made factura is great too. There’s a bakery here in Necochea called La Europea that makes mini-facturas, and they are quite heavenly.

    Dan, have you tried bolas de fraile? They’re fried and have a similar taste and texture to a yeast doughnut.

    • September 19, 2011 2:16 am

      Thanks for the comment Katie! Yes, I like bolas de fraile filled with cream. Filled with dulce de leche is too much. 🙂

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