A bit similar to beignet, fritelle di riso are a special bite-sized seasonal treat that you can find in the period between Christmas and Carnevale; and which make a special one day appearance in March for the day of San Giuseppe or Father’s Day. Soft cooked rice is mixed with eggs, milk, sugar, olive oil, orange zest (or lemon) and raisins and then fried and dusted with sugar. At their best, the rice is very soft and the filling is creamy inside, plump with rum soaked raisins and aromatic with orange. Often the crisp exterior has long since lost its crunch, but if you can get them fresh from the fryer it is another story. The crisp outside is a stark contrast to the warm rice, with the rice providing just a hint of chew.
The town of San Donato in Collina just outside of Florence, has mastered the fritelle, and on weekends between January and March, it is inundated with people from all over waiting their turn for fritelle fresh from the fryers. Crowds gather outside, waiting easily over 30 minutes at times, to purchase fritelle by the kilo or half-kilo while happy families and friends cluster around the terrace and fill the bar as they dig into their still-warm fritters.
Where to Eat the Best Fritelle di Riso in/around Florence
Go to San Donato in Collina for fresh hot fritelle di riso crisp from the fryer.
See also: Fritelle Veneziane