The last days of Carnival

Carnival fritole


Here we are. The last week end of Carnival is over and tomorrow is Martedi Grasso, the Fat Tueasday. The last day of the Carnival is traditionally the apogee of the festivities.

If you have been in Venice these last weeks, no doubt you have experienced a bit of craziness in the air. Like every year for Carnival, the main streets are full of people dressing mask and colorful clothes or taking photo of other people dressed up.

It a little bit of a mess, but still is a great moment in Venice. And if you want to feel like a local, don’t forget to taste a « frittella veneziana » simple, or filled with zabaione cream

Considered as the national dessert of the Serenissima Republic, the fritelle or fritole date back to the Renaissance period.

They were prepared in the street by the fritoleri in small wooden shacks and sold hot. The art of “fritoleri” disappeared definitively from the Venetian streets only at the end of the nineteenth century.

Here the recipe if you want to try it at home

•100g of raisins  •120ml of grappa or rhum •500g of plain flour, sifted

•1 pinch of salt •15g of active dry yeast •80g of caster sugar

•1 unwaxed lemon, zested •2 eggs, medium, lightly beaten

•40g of pine nuts •250g of whole milk, warmed

•1l sunflower oil, for frying •icing sugar, for dusting

Start soaking the raisons in the liqueur and leave to plump up for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre and break the eggs into it, then, using a fork, start to incorporate them into the flour mix. Add the pine nuts, raisins with their soaking liquid and the milk and mix everything until it comes together into a sticky dough

Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and set it in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in size and very bubbly on the surface

Next, heat the oil in a deep, medium-sized skillet set over a low-medium heat. Once hot, start shaping your fritelle using 2 tablespoons. Grab a dollop of dough as big as a walnut and give it a round-ish shape using both spoons, then slip it into the hot oil.

Fry the fritelle on both sides until dark brown all over and cooked through, for about 4 minutes. Drain with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large plate lined with absorbent paper towels

Leave the frittelle to cool before dusting them with icing sugar.