Chiacchiere di Carnevale is the delicious traditional sweet treat served in Italy on SHrove Tuesday. These yummy stripes of fried dough are very easy to make, and will make everybody lick their fingers!
About this Recipe
By: Silvana Lanzetta
Chiacchiere di Carnevale have a very ancient origin: they date back of the Roman times, where they were offered to the population during the Saturnalia Festival. During this celebrations, very similar to our modern Italian Carnival, people would reverse social roles and indulge in excesses. Symbols of these excesses were the frictilia, sweet treats that were fried in lard and given out to the crowd on the streets. The fampus Roman gourmet Apicius describes them as “fritters made with spelt flour and eggs, cooked in ard, and then covered with honey.”
A popular anedoct wants that the modern version of the chiacchiere di carnevale were created in Naples when the queen of Savoy, having lost herself in a long chat, realised that she was hungry and asked the cour cook, Raffaele Esposito, to prepare a sweet treat. The chicchiere were given this name (chatters) in honour of this episode.
However, they are called in different ways, depending of the area of Italy where theyare made:
Bugie (lies) in Liguria and Piedmont, Frappole in Emilia Romagna, Galani in Venice, Cenci (rags) in Tuscany, Frappe in Rome, and Maraviglias (wonder) in Sardinia.
Per 100 gr of cooked chiacchiere
- Proteins 15% 15%
- Carbs 18% 18%
- Fats 55% 55%
Step by Step Instructions
Place the flour in a large bowl. form a well in the middle, and dd the sugar, the eggs, the melted butter, the grated orange zest, and the liqueur.
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until you get a smooth even dough. Form a ball, cover with a clean tea towel and let stand for 30 minutes.
Dust with a little flour a clean flat surface. Pull with a rolling pin a very thin sheet, about 2 mm thick.
The thickness of the chiacchiere di carnevale varies from region to region. Usually in the north are extremely thin, almost paper like, whereas in the south, in Naples especially, are thicker.
With a pastry wheel, cut the sheets in rectangles of 10 x 5 cm (4″ x 2″). Score each rectangle with a long cut down the middle, making sure that at least one of the shorter edges stays whole.
Knot and/or braid each rectangle as you wish. The chiacchiere di Carnevale must have whimsical shapes: let your imagination lose and have fun!
Heat abundant vegetable oil in a deep pot. Fry the chiacchiere in small batches, until the get a lovely golden colour. Let them dry on kitchen paper towels, then dust them with icing sugar.
In Naples we use aniseed liqueur to flavour our chiacchiere di carnevale. In other parts of Italy, other alcohol is used. Marsala, Strega, Rum, Moscato are traditionally also used to flavour them. If you feel extra fancy, you can also use limoncello!