Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The period of Carnival: costumes and sweets galore!

Do you know what the Italian Carnival is? The Carnival in Italy is the period of festivity dedicated to the children and it always comes before the Lent, the forty days of Penitence that lead to Easter. In Sicily the most famous Carnival festivities are in Acireale (near Catania, the pic above), in Sciacca (near Agrigento), and in Termini Imerese (near Palermo). Normally people, above all kids, wear particular costumes, so it's quite common in these days to see walking little Supermen, cowboys, Robin Hoods or princesses along the street with their parents. So cute! 
At the table the Carnival is the period in which you really can get fat and enjoy food, infact traditional sweets are usually fried and we call it with a general word: "frittelle".  Frittelle means something sweet and fried.

To be more specific though, we have lots of stuff that we prepare: the most renowned in the whole of Italy are definetely the 'CHIACCHIERE', that means 'chats'. This crunchy sweets are called so because you eat one after the other while chatting.

By the way, I have to warn you that even if they are made all over the country in every region of Italy have a different name (cenci, galani) and shapes (rectangular, little knots), which is interesting but sometimes a bit confusing. In Sicily we call it chiacchiere and especially if homemade, they are delicious, because we add some parfumed liquoer, Marsala is usually the best and make them really special!

Here comes the recipe:
200 gr flour - 2 eggs - 20 gr caster sugar - 20 gr soft butter - 2 spoons of Marsala - a pinch of salt - oil of olive for frying.

Photo Source: gingerandtomato.com
In a bowl mix the flour with all the other ingredients: salt and sugar, butter and Marsala, then the 2 eggs previously beaten. Make the dough little by little, until it becomes elastic and homogeneous. Give it the shape of a ball, wrap it up with a kitchen cloth and leave it aside for about 30 minutes. Then, using the rolling pin, roll it out, but not too thick, about 1/2 cm. Now, you can cut it and make all the shapes that you want.
In a frying pan put some olive oil, when is hot enough fry the chiacchiere until they become gold-ish. Finally sprinkle icing sugar on top and serve still warm. You will chat a lot! Ahah... just exquisite!


  1. Based on my own opinion, I think that costumes and sweets galore are very rampant during carnival. I think that there would be a lot of people on that big event. I can't wait to have a taste of those delicious sweets.

  2. I’m excited to attend this event and enjoy the every moment.