It is a sweet treat that goes back to the days of the ancient Romans and they were called frictilia. Frictilia were enjoyed in ancient Roman days to celebrate the end of winter. They made their dough by frying in in pork fat and they made a lot of them, with the goal of having them last untiDuring the same months in which Carnevale is celebrated today, Romans used to prepare frictilia to celebrate the end of winter.
These are beautiful masks I saw in Venice this summer…the colors are gorgeous!!!
Although they are typically prepared for Carnevale they are also commonly served at Christmas, Easter and special occasions like baptisms and weddings.
What is Carnevale in Italy?
Carnevale, or Carnival, Dates:
- 2019 – Carnevale date – March 5
- 2020 – Carnevale date – February 25
Some notes on the recipes:
I prepared these by hand using a rolling pin and rolling the dough quite thin can be a bit of a workout but you can also roll the pastry dough with a pasta machine. Along with the various given names these sweet fried pastry strips are also cut and shaped in various ways, squares, rectangles, diamonds, thin strips tied in loose knots and of course, the bow shape that I’ve prepared.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you that no matter what you size you make them, or what you call them, chiacchiere are totally irresistible!! Go ahead and try one! You will find that that first one will be the start of something delicious and dangerous! Impossible to eat only one!
Some other lovely chiacchere to check out:
Chiacchiere (orange flavored)
I love the shape of this one from Labna.
- 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 3/4 Tablespoons dry white wine grappa, or rum or even brandy or even orange juice
- 1 1/2 cups 200 grams all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
- Oil for frying
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat egg and egg yolk with the sugar at medium speed until pale in color.
- Add the sugar, salt, olive oil and dry white wine; beat until combined.
- Slowly add in the flour a little bit at a time and mix on low speed until combined.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and place on a clean counter.
- Begin kneading the dough. Add more flour a little at a time if it is too sticky.
- Knead for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Cut dough into 4 pieces and cover in plastic wrap. Chill dough for about one hour.
- When dough is ready to work with, take out the first portion from the refrigerator.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface (counter or pastry board)to a thickness of about 1/8 inch.
- Using fluted pastry wheel, cut your dough into long strips, 3 to 4cm (1.5in) wide and then cut every strip into 10cm (4in) rectangles.
- Continue rolling and cutting the rest of the dough.
- Line rimmed baking sheet with three layers of paper towels (to drain excess oil). Fill deep saucepan with oil; heat oil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and fry them a few at a time.
- Fry until lightly golden one one side, then carefully flip over and fry the other side until lightly golden.
- Remove the pastry strips with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel lined cookie sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining strips of dough.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar.