How to make Chiacchiere

Shrove Tuesday is coming up together with Carnival and then the Lent. The word Carnival comes from Latin “carnem levare (“to eliminate meat”) as it indicated the banquet that was held on the last day of Carnival (Shrove Tuesday), just before the period of abstinence and fasting of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is the day when the festivities of the carnival period end, so it is the day that we grant more abundance of food and celebrations because with the Ash Wednesday, begins the season of Lent, a period of forty days preceding the celebration of Easter.

In Italy, we use to make Chiacchiere, one of the typical Italian sweet of the carnival period. They shall be prepared and eaten throughout the whole carnival period and have different names depending on the Italian region in which they are prepared: Chiacchiere in Campania, Crostoli in Trentino, Cenci and Donzelle in Tuscany, Frappe and Sfrappole in Emilia, Galani and Gale in Veneto, Lattughe in Lombardy, Bugie in Piedmont.

These fried sweets are very crisp and light. They are made by layers of dough, very crumbly and sweet, obtained by subtly pulling a simple dough then fried and dusted with powdered sugar for the finishing touch. Their rectangular shape, with two central sharp cuts, makes the Chiacchiere unmistakable and immediately attracts the gluttony of young and old. Their presence in shop windows gives the feeling of the holiday season coming up and puts everyone in a good mood.

How to make Chiacchiere, the typical Shrove Tuesday Italian sweet

Today we’d like to let you taste the Chiacchiere but if you do not come to visit us here on the Coast is difficult, so we would like to explain how to prepare them at home so that you can taste them.

The recipe – Ingredients

4-1/2 cups flour
4 oz. butter (room temperature)
3/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup Anisette
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs (room temperature)
Peanut oil for frying (as needed)
Icing sugar for dusting (as needed)

Let’s get started

Sift the flour and pour out it onto a flat work surface. Make a hole in the centre and add the other ingredients in the centre of the hole you made.

Using your hands or an electric mixer, knead the dough until it is perfectly smooth and then cover it with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in half until obtaining an even number of medium-sized loaves. Roll the loaves of dough with a pasta machine or a rolling pin into thin sheets, dusting with a little flour to prevent sticking.

Using a cutter divide the dough into rectangular strips a little bit larger than a playing card. Make a cut in the centre of each strip. Take a strip, pass one end through the slot and pull it out. You finally got your Chiacchiere.

Fry the Chiacchiere in abundant boiling oil. But be careful it has not to be too hot otherwise you are going to burn them. The dough should be completely submerged in the oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Move them constantly not to burn them and to cook them in a homogeneous way. Once golden, remove them using a skimmer and place them on parchment paper.

While they are still warm dust them with powdered sugar. You can serve them immediately or you could store them for a couple of days preferably in a tin box.

You get it!

Chiacchiere may be served with a chocolate sauce on the side, also typical of the carnival and called “Sanguinaccio”.

If you also want to match wine you can choose a port as the aged Tawny or raisin red wine as the Sagrantino Passito or a Banyuls, a perfect wine for chocolate.

And now… Enjoy!

But come here to taste the original ones! We will bring you on tour to discover where are hidden the best you can taste!