Last Call: What Do You Call This Pastry?

This past weekend, friends and I attended the Western Montana Fair, where we observed rabbit agility contests and feasted on multiple courses of fried-dough delicacies. But a trip to the funnel-cake counter began a hot-as-the-fryer debate amongst my friends: What's the difference between a funnel cake and an elephant ear, and what's an elephant ear anyway?


This kicked off because I, born and raised in New Jersey, thought there's no way you could confuse a funnel cake for an elephant ear. I brought up a photo of what I call an elephant ear on my phone. "That's a Palmier," my Montana-raised friends said. I'd never even heard this word.

So, Takeout commentariat, who's right when it comes to the pastry pictured above: Team Palmier or Team Elephant Ear? And is this is a geographic thing? Are there truly differences between the two pastries? Help us solve this linguistic mystery, please, as the internet hasn't been much help so far.