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: 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