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Chiacchiere (Mardi Gras Fritters)

  • 31 minutes
  • Easy
  • Desserts and Fruit
A crispy treat eaten throughout Italy during the Carnival season.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ oz confectioners sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ oz butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon Grappa
  • 1 pinch salt
  • oz baking soda
  • vanilla powder (or vanilla extract) to taste
  • frying oil, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

Preparation:

 

 

Pour out the flour onto a flat work surface. Make a hole in the center and add the other ingredients in the center, except for the milk. Gradually add the milk as you begin to knead the dough.

Using your hands or an electric mixer, knead the dough until it is smooth, then cover in plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Then, divide the dough into pieces and roll out the dough until 1/10 inch using a rolling pin or pasta machine. Use a knife or pasta cutter to cut out diamonds or whatever shape you prefer.

Fry the dough in boiling oil. The dough should be completely submerged in the oil for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Once golden, remove the fritters using a slotted spoon and place them on parchment paper.

Dust the fritters with powdered sugar. The chiacchiere can be served immediately or stored for a couple of days.

Food History

According to the Christian calendar, Carnival is the period that leads up to Lent. Carnival began as a pagan festival dedicated to Saturn, father of Jupiter. During the Saturnalia that was held during the month of March, people would wear masks to drive away the spirits, make sacrifices, participate in orgies and invert social roles, turning landowners into slaves and vice versa during the entire duration of the festival.
With the spread of Christianity, the more wild, pagan elements of the celebration were left behind and Carnival became a time to eat and party in excess prior to Lent. For this reason, many to the foods prepared during the Carnival period are sweets and especially fritters.

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