Calas (Fried Rice Fritters)

I am obsessed with calas—crispy fried rice fritters that are the very essence of Creole cooking; they represent so much of what I love about my home city, New Orleans. Though none of us alive today will remember it, many natives have heard tales of the women who used to sell them on Sundays in St. Louis Square after Mass let out, calling "Calas, bels calas tout chauds!," the Creole equivalent of "Get 'em while they're hot!" Over the years, recipes for calas seem to have all but disappeared, so I've added them to my repertoire of desserts, a long-lost friend that deserves to be remembered, celebrated, and, most of all, enjoyed. _—David Guas, Bayou Bakery, Washington, D.C.

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