Carnival chiacchiere, or frappe, have a rather ancient origin. We even talk about “frictilia“, Roman times desserts, fried in lard. At the time, the dough was with eggs and flour, to celebrate the Saturnalia, which was equivalent to our Carnival.
Carnival chiacchiere are a must-have for this holiday, in fact, they are present in all supermarkets since the end of January. Considering that it is a poor dessert, few ingredients are required for the recipe, however there are many variations. The dough necessary for a fair amount of chiacchiere requires 500 gr. flour, 80 gr. sugar, 50 gr. of butter, and 3 eggs.
Some add marsala, others add a little white wine depending on the region. Some, on the other hand, wet the dough with grappa. Others add flavored orange peel, lemon or even beetroot. The procedure does not differ from the dough of the homemade pasta, simply, the dough should be rest for a while. It would be a good idea to buy eggs directly from the farmer, which give the dough a beautiful bright yellow color. Finally the sheet must be rolled out by hand or with a pasta maker.
How to make chiacchiere
You must have a wheel-cutter to make strips to be tied and fried in hot oil. While the dough rest fill the time reading some cookbooks. You will find interesting stories. For example, Apicius, a refined ancient gourmet, wrote about this recipe in “De re coquinaria“: “Pancakes made with eggs and spelled flour, cut into morsels, fried in lard and then dipped in honey“. Instead, a legend says that they are called chiacchiere, ‘chats’ because they were born after a “chat”.
With the bubbles, golden, crumbly, and braided with a knot, once cut they must end in the hot oil. Frappe, slightly knurled at the edges, must be drained on absorbent paper. The variations then change a little from one region to another. Some like them thin, and others very seasoned with chocolate and more.
Carnival frappe, however, must have the above mentioned bubbles, a sign of a good pastry. Once, Carnival frappe or chiacchiere were fried in lard. Today we prefer a light seed oil and then chocolate chips on top. There are even those who prefer baking them. You can try, however, the result is very different from the fired ones. Frappe can be covered with cocoa, honey, or with dark chocolate flows.
Once, however, chocolate was nothing but black pudding, because in the countryside you could not afford anything else. There is a filled variant of this carnival sweets. In this way they are transformed into bundles full of chopped hazelnuts. Some add chopped almonds, walnuts, pistachios and various types of creams.
Fry the frappe
Of course the taste and tradition changes from region to region. Keep in mind that once fried, the frappe can be kept for weeks. It’s better to store thwm in a cool and dry place, perhaps in a food container or in a bread holder
Finally, a sprinkling of icing sugar cannot miss, and the Carnival chiacchiere acquires fantastic perfume. In any case, if you can’t make them at home, chiacchiere are found in all supermarkets and also in pastry shops of course. During the carnival period they are present throughout the national territory. Despite the many variations, the basic recipe does not differ significantly. Good job and good frying!
Images: Silvia Aiuti