Chiacchiere e frittelle: Carnevale’s sweet pastries par excellence

Feb 13, 2019 360


It’s coming up to Carnival time and bakeries in Italy have trays of ‘chiacchiere’ in their windows. Think a pastry that is thin, crispy, fried and covered in icing sugar….  I knew that would get your attention! We would have these when I was growing up in Australia only when my Calabrese Nonna Concetta would make them.  I’ve always called them ‘Crostoli’, and their name changes throughout Italy.  The recipe remains more or less the same, the only real difference I noticed was that some people don’t add butter or fat to the recipe.

I recently asked on Facebook what people called these where they were from in Italy, and although Chiacchiere was the most common name, they are also known in various regions of Italy as: Crostoli – Cenci – Frappe – Sfrappe – Sfrappole – Bugie – Stracci – Fiocchi – Cencetti – Galani – Sprelle – Meraviglias – Teste di Turchi – Intrigoni – Monachelle –  Straccetti – Nacatoli – Grostoli – Gali.  A couple of these are dialect, but I found it fascinating that one traditional sweet pastry can be called so many different names.

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