1 medium Vidalia, Maui or Walla-Walla onion
3 cups self-rising white cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
Salt to taste
Peel and dice the onion into 1/8-inch pieces.
Combine the onions with the flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and cayenne. Form a well in the center.
Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl and pour them into the well. Stir until flours are just moistened.
Heat a deep-fat fryer or large pot of vegetable oil to 340 degrees. Drop batter into fat from a large spoon, or scoop batter using an ice-cream scooper.
Fry for about 1.5 minutes per side, turning when golden brown. Remove from fryer and drain on a rack; sprinkle with salt and serve while hot.