Frittelle alla Veneziana
Here we go again: Christmas and New Year celebration have passed, Epiphany has just gone by and with it all celebration have finally stopped, as an old Venetian proverb says: L’Epifania tute e feste porta via! (Epiphany takes all celebration away).
But here in Venice 6th January means also the unofficial start of the Carnevale and the beginning of a long series of cake and dessert making which usually lasts until the last day of Carnival, Mardi Gras.
During January and February all over Italy, but above all allover Venice (where Carnival originates from) and its region Veneto, bakeries and patisserie dish out daily masses of frittelle (sweet dumplings) and galani (as we call them in Venice, know as cenci or chiacchiere in other parts of Italy) as well as castagnole.
Today we will talk about Frittelle!
For the whole article about the history of frittelle just visit my blog on Venice. Here is a short extract from it:
“…..In Venice, the “fritole” was considered the national dessert since the days of the Serenissima Republic and you could “taste” it not only in Venice, but throughout the Veneto and the region of Friuli, up to almost the outskirts of Milan. The undisputed queen of Venetian sweets, the frittella or “fritoa” lends itself to live with the carnival its magic moment.
The fritole, which held the sceptre of the art of confectionery of the people, was produced in various streets of the city, as well as in homes and bakeries , but mostly in wooden huts of a square shape. The producers of the “fritole” were the “fritoleri”, who were both producers and sellers of this fritters. The fritoleri, as if to emphasize their exclusivity to produce them, in the ’600 formed an association, composed of seventy “fritoleri”, each with its own area where he could exercise the exclusive business and pass it on exclusively to his children. The corporation remained active until the fall of the Republic, though the art of “fritoleri” definitively disappeared from the streets of Venice only in the late nineteenth century….. “
And here is one of many recipes, which all claim to be authentic. The problem is that, as always with very famous and widespread recipes, every household has its own special authentic one 🙂
This is the recipes from our Venetian grandmas. Come and learn to cook them with us, book your cooking class in our cooking school in Venice.
FRITOE AEA VENESSIANA – VENETIAN FRIED SWEET DUMPLINGS
Fritoe ae venessiana
Ingredients: 500 g. plain flour, 20 g. yeast (dissolved in a little warm water), 80 g. sugar, 2 eggs, milk, the zest of 1 lemon, 80 g. raisins (immersed for 1 hour in a bit of grappa or rhum), oil to fry, icing sugar, salt
First dissolve the yeast in a little warm water with the sugar. Then add this to the flour together with the eggs, the zest of the lemon and a pinch of salt. Start mixing and slowly add a little milk at a time, until the dough is smooth and soft. Keep mixing until you see bubbles appearing. Cover the bowl with a wet towel and leave to rest for 2 hours in a warm place.
After the time has passed, take the dough and add the raisins (not the juice they released). Make some little balls and put them to fry in a deep pan with hot oil (don’t worry if the dough is too soft and you cannot make the balls, use a small spoon to pout the dough in the hot oil). Take the little fried balls away from the hot oil as soon as they are a nice golden colour. Don’t fry too many balls at the same time, they will burn on the outside and will not cook on the inside.
Drain the balls on some kitchen paper, serve them warm covered by icing sugar. Best eaten the same day and with a nice glass of prosecco wine.