The People Whisper
I will tell you in a little bit what CHIACCHIERE The People Whisper really means to me besides a beautiful, crunchy Italian pastry.
Chiacchiere is an Italian pastry or sweet if you may which is common to the Italian carnival or as pronounced in Italian “Carnevale”. Popular to the Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) which although is now across the world actually orginated in Italian history and is strongly related to their religion specifically Easter just before the lent season starts.
The day before Ash Wednesday was so that everyone could use up all the fat in house ie. butter, wine, eggs (all fat and luxury) to prepare for the period lent, abstinence so to speak. “astinenza”
The first time I saw this recipe was in our very early years of marriage. My husband would make it and at the time thought “Mmm different” but it wasn’t until our time in Italy when I saw his mother make it at a specific time of year that I began to realize that this little pastry carried a novel of historic relevance.
In particular, the word “chiacchiere” the literal translation is “little gossips” Little gossips? What is that?
Well, I too was terribly confused trust me. Early one morning (my children were still very little then) as we sat in this unfamiliar kitchen in the dead of winter a long way from home, where gloves were our most prized possession, the espresso coffee machine was going, the little ones where having milk and ‘chiacchiere’ an unfamiliar and foreign breakfast while I tried to unashamedly have a conversation with my brother in law. The only one who remotely understood my English. He went on to tell me that the meaning of chiacchiere was “the people whisper” which confused me even more at the time and I wont tell you what I really thought he was trying to say!
That was his attempt to tell me the literal translation and let me tell you that he was doing an amazing job in the language/translation department compared to my poor Italian attempts.
The fact is that I am currently not in Italy in the middle of winter instead I am in South Africa in the beautiful city of Cape Town in the middle of our summer 🙂
Stay in touch 🙂
From start to finish including the resting time for the dough is approximately one hour.
Cost To Make
1 tbsp butter (room temperature)
Pinch of salt
Regular white wine (as required)
For another authentic Italian recipe that we created do try this delicious Zio Michele Pasta
We never need a Madi Gras to make chiacchiere because to us its more like our “biscuits” or the American “cookies” Let me just say that we took our chiacchiere along to our Xmas day lunch as an additional snack/dessert and they were gone in minutes!
METHOD FOR OUR CHIACCHIERE
Beat eggs and set aside.
On a flat surface or a board
Pour the flour into a large bowl and make a hole “well” in the center of the flour.
Add the rest of the ingredients into the center hole. The wine must be added gradually.
Using your hands mix the ingredients together and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky (not as dry as bread dough)
Shape into a round ball and leave it in a bowl covered with a cloth or another bowl over it (as long as its covered) to rest for 30 minutes.
Take the dough out the bowl and roll (rolling pin) on a floured surface into a very thin slab about 1mm thick.
Using a pastry cutter cut out into approximately 5cm large and 10cm long rectangles. (5 x 10 cm)
Heat the oil and fry the cut rectangles till a light golden brown on either side.
Fry in vegetable oil on the stove or use a deep fryer either way you use a lot of oil hence no quantity given.
If you frying on the stove top you will have to keep changing the oil to keep it clean after maybe 2 batches at a time.