Chiacchiere, a carnival treat
Chiacchiere or frappe can boast a long history, dating back to frictilia, sweet fritters typical of the Carnival period in Roman times. Known throughout Italy, where they are called by different names, they are made with very simple ingredients.
The word chiacchiere means chit-chats, as the noise the sweets make when you eat them recalls that of chit-chatting.
Chiacchiere have for me the taste of my childhood, when I prepared them with my Granny, Jolanda, in her kitchen full of light. I was in charge of the dough, under her supervision and she plunged them into hot oil, lest I should get burnt. She used to serve chiacchiere with fresh whipped cream, strictly homemade.
Ingredients (serves 6 people)
200 g of flour
50 g of sugar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 whole egg + 1 yolk
½ glass of white wine
a pinch of salt
Pour the flour onto a board, leaving a well in the center. Place the eggs, the sugar, two tablespoons of olive oil, half a glass of wine and a pinch salt all together inside the well. Knead the ingredients until they are well blended, then let the dough stand, covered, for half an hour. Roll out the dough with a rolling-pin until you have obtained a thin pastry. Cut the dough with a pastry wheel into strips 10 cm long and 2 cm wide, or into lozenges of the same length and 6 cm wide, which you will divide into three strips, having made sure not to cut the edges. Pour plenty of oil into a frying pan and, when it fries, dip the chiacchiere in the oil and brown them. Once browned, drain them and pat them dry with paper towels before sprinkling them with icing sugar.
Out of curiosity… Chiacchiere are known by the following names in the different Italian regions: bugie (lies) in Liguria, cenci (rags) and donzelle (damsels) in Tuscany, frappe (fringes) in Latium, Umbria and the Marches, crostoli (crusts) in Veneto, Trentino and Friuli Venezia Giulia, galani (lace trimming), gale (bows) and bugie in Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta and Venice, rosoni (rosettes) in Romagna , cioffe (locks) in the Abruzzi, lattughe (lettuce) in Mantua, maraviglias (wonders) in Sardinia, chiacchiere (chit-chats), finally, in Lombardy, Emilia, Sicily, Basilicata, Molise, Apulia, Calabria and Campania.