Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Indulge in a chat this carnival

Indulge in a chat this carnival
No we don’t mean the chit-chat of conversation, but an Italian sweet specialty that makes an appearance as the nation pops on its masks to party. With carnival originating as a feast the last night before lent, much of the cuisine associated with carnival is in the spirit of excess – little luxuries before the fast. Marry that idea with the concept of ‘using up what you have in the kitchen’ and the carnival fritter was born.

Made from flour, eggs, yeast, butter and liqueurs, baked and dusted in sugar, at carnival time you’ll find them in every patisserie. But while the dish is broadly the same from town to town, each region calls it something different. They’re ‘bugle’ in Genoa and Turin, ‘cenci’ in Florence, ‘strufoli’ in Tuscany and most common of all ‘chiacchiere’ ,or ‘chats’, in Puglia, Parma and Sicily. 

But the most evocative nickname for carnival fritters is ‘angel wings’, named after a particular style of fritter that resembles a set of wings. Whatever shape your carnival fritters take, they all have one thing in common, they taste heavenly.