This weekend's Feast of St. Gabriel brought crowds Italian and otherwise to Little Italy to enjoy some delights from the homeland. Booths featured cheese and olives, pizza, meatballs, cannoli, and other Italian classics, including dance bands for the older set, raffles to raise money for the church and community center, and surprisingly cheap beer. Festival-goers were also treated to several games of chance, a Bocce Ball tournament, and continuous Bingo, 25 cents a card, in air conditioned comfort. But in my view there's really only one reason to go to this festival: fried dough. As a kid growing up in Idaho, fried dough was ubiquitous; we called the flattened chewy sugared discs "elephant ears" and sometimes put honey or cinnamon-sugar on them, just to be wild. (Cue a debate, probably fueled by nationalist sentiments, that there's a difference between these two, too.) Fried dough has since taken a confusing turn, the industry taken over by funnel cakes. They are in the same Snack/Treat family, sure, made from drizzling the batter into hot oil to create a crunchy nest of fried dough strands. If that's all you're after, if you don't care about the supple soft mouth feel of just-cooked dough that is more yeasted donut than dregs from the fryer, then enjoy your carnival crap. For the more sophisticated palate, fried dough at the Feast of St. Gabriel is where it's at.