Carnevale Foods

There are many sweet treats which are uniquely seasonal to the period of Carnevale, the weeks before Mardi Gras. Each region has their own particular specialties (of course!) but some of them travel. One commonality, many of them are fried. Learn more in the Golossary: Schiacciata Fiorentina – typical cake for Carnevale unique to Florence, traditionally served plain, but often now offered stuffed with chantilly … Continue reading Carnevale Foods

Golossary: Agnello Pasquale

A very sweet Sicilian Easter tradition, the Agnello Pasquale (Easter Lamb) is an impressive beauty to behold. Sweet almond marzipan is sculpted into the shape of a lamb, a symbol of Christ and Easter. The lamb may be filled or decorated, variations abound. Often the lamb is decorated with a pure white crisp sugar or meringue coating to resemble its wooly coat. Fillings vary, but … Continue reading Golossary: Agnello Pasquale

Golossary: Torta Pastiera

This Neapolitan Easter pie has become so well loved it is now available year around, and you will see it during the Easter season in pasticcerias throughout the boot. Don’t let it pass you by. It’s beguiling aromas of orange flower captivate, and could easily sweep you away to an exotic Moroccan oasis. A sweet, crumbly cookie crust holds that dense aromatic interior. The filling … Continue reading Golossary: Torta Pastiera

Golossary: Cenci

Cenci, Chiacchere, Crostoli, etc. – What’s in a name? These carnival treats go by a different name in every town. They may be called cenci in Florence, but chiacchere elsewhere. Chiacchere is one of the more common names and a particularly evocative one. “Chiacchere” is to chat or chatter, and the name comes from the sound of the pastry bubbling in the hot oil. Lucca … Continue reading Golossary: Cenci

Golossary: Fritelle Veneziane

Travel around Italy, especially in the weeks up to Carnevale, and you will see fritelle for sale in many of the pasticcerias. Taste one or two and you will soon learn that the fritelle in Florence are very different from the fritelle in Venice. One could create a Carnevale tasting tour of Italy just sampling all the different fritelle and cenci throughout the boot. Whereas … Continue reading Golossary: Fritelle Veneziane

Golossary: Fritelle di Riso

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 … Continue reading Golossary: Fritelle di Riso

Golossary: Monte Bianco

The forefather for the French Mont Blanc, the Monte Bianco is a mountain of sweet chestnut puree and whipped cream, named after the alpine peak. The chestnuts have a subtle creamy sweetness which is complemented by the whipped cream. It is usually garnished with a candied chestnut. Variations range from piles of spaghetti looking puree topped with a bit of cream, to elegant confections of snow covered mountains … Continue reading Golossary: Monte Bianco