A buñuelo (Spanish: [buˈɲwelo]) (alternatively called bimuelo, birmuelo, bermuelo, burmuelo, or bonuelo; Catalan: bunyol, IPA: [buˈɲɔɫ]) is a fried dough ball. It is a popular snack in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Uruguay, Spain, Greece, Guam, Turkey and Morocco, and is a tradition at Christmas, Ramadan, and among Sephardic Jews at Hanukkah. It will usually have a filling or a topping. In Mexican cuisine, it is often served with a syrup made with piloncillo.
Buñuelos are first known to have been consumed among Spain’s Morisco population. They typically consist of a simple, wheat-based yeast dough, often flavored with anise, that is thinly rolled, cut or shaped into individual pieces, then fried and finished off with a sweet topping. Buñuelos may be filled with a variety of things, sweet or savory. They can be round in ball shapes or disc shaped. In Latin America, buñuelos are seen as a symbol of good luck.
There are references to buñuelos in Majorca, Catalonia or Valencia; there are also buñuelos in Turkey, India, Puerto Rico, and Cuba; buñuelos in Russia. Jews in Turkey make buñuelos with matzo meal and eat them during Passover. They are also popular during Hanukkah.
In many Latin American countries, this particular dish can also be made with flour tortillas, and covered in sugar and/or cinnamon.