Chiacchiere is an Italian pastry or sweet if you may which is common to the Italian carnival or as pronounced in Italian “KAR..NE...VA..LE” and these pastries are crunchy, crispy and extremely addictive!
Chiacchiere Italian Pastry
Chiacchiere are rectangular pieces of rolled dough which you make small cuts into. These dough pieces are then fried and coated in sugar. Seriously though, what a delicious and utterly 'sinful' pastry! It's almost like eating candy or popcorn without even thinking, they are so good!
Why do Italians Make Chiacchiere?
It's the time of the Carnival (47 days before Easter) season. The time just before Lent and the town is filled with celebrations by means of masquerades with elaborate masks, parades, food and music oh and such beautiful costumes! This whole celebration lasts about two weeks from January 30th to Feb 16th. It's quite the traditional celebration that eye opening if it's your first time witnessing it.
Why They Call It Fat Tuesday?
Still no idea if this is true or not but I remember very vividly my brother in law explaining to me in all of his sweet attempts at English that;
The day before Ash Wednesday (aka Tuesday) was so that everyone could use up all the fat in the house ie butter and eggs to prepare for the period of lent, also called "astinenza" meaning abstinence of...without the luxury of food.
When my mother in law made chiacchiere they were a lot neater than these. I remember my children (who were little at the time) would have them for breakfast every morning with milk. All you could hear was the crunch with each bite 🙂
Once you start eating them the crunch keeps you going back for more. Fair warning!
What is the meaning of the word Carnivale
Mardi Gras (/ˈmɑːrdi ˌɡrɑː/), or Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday, which is known as Shrove Tuesday.
What Does Chiacchiere Mean?
In particular, the word "chiacchiere" the literal translation is "little gossips/chit chat" Little gossips? What exactly is that?
'chiacchiere' simply means 'CHAT' or people whispering which as the translation I got from my brother in law in an attempt to explain the whole celebration to me. He really wanted to speak English 🙂
How To Make Chiacciere
This is a very small snippet of images to give you an idea but you can find the full recipe card below.
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Chiacchiere Italian Pastry
- 500 grams flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsps unsalted butter
- ½ glass of white wine
- 1 Tot of Frangelico
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil/Canola for frying
- Add the flour into a large enough baking bowl
- Add the salt and baking powder, use a whisk/fork to combine
- Make a hole/well in the middle and add the melted butter, 2 eggs, the Frangelico and the white wine. Mix it all using a fork to blend everything togetherIf its too not properly combined then add a little more liquid (this can be wine, water or milk) you need to dough to be together but flexible, soft and pliable not hard.
- Cover with a clean cloth and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
ROLLING THE DOUGH
- Place the dough on a clean floured surface and cut it into 3 equal parts. If using a pasta machine start with the bigger one and keep flattening it until you get to the small size. If using a rolling pin then flatten it out into a rectangular shape The thickness should be about 1mm in thickness regardless. Once you have the dough in flat rectangular shapes use a sharp small knife to cut little strips into each flat of dough. Between rolling and cutting slits into the rectangles, heat the oil for frying. Heat a non stick pan with enough oil for frying - see image.
- The frying takes seconds for each one, try not to overfill the pan, it goes very quickly. Essentially you are dipping it in the oil, wait a second for it to turn golden light brown, turn another split second and out. Continue with the rolling, rectangle shapes, cutting and frying until the dough is used up. As you fry have kitchen tissure paper on another oven tray for them to drip. These amount to a lot of chiacciere so have 2 large oven trays ready.
- Sprinkle some icing sugar over and enjoy! Happy Carnivale! Miranda xx
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