In Italy, Carnival is two weeks of celebrations, where each city has its own “Carnevale” traditions, from the inevitable fried dolce, to parades, costumes, masks and more.
Carnevale celebrations include children dressing up in costumes and masks, town festivals and parades. Mixed among the modern day costumes, you’ll also find children dressed in some of the historical costumes and masks portraying a classic Carnevale character, each with its own story.
The most famous Italian Carnival is celebrated in Venice when not only children, dress elegant costumes and amazing masks.
Balanzone, also known as Dottore, is one of the festival’s most famous characters, and happens to hail from Bologna. Balanzone claims to be a professor, and wears a large black hat with a wide brim, a black mask that covers the upper portion of his face and a black cape. Other typical masks from Emilia-Romagna include Fagiolino and Sandrone.
Frappe: the queens of the Carnival season
Throughout Italy andEmilia-Romagna, you will find some version of these fried treats, albeit by different names. Its name change in each city but under different names, you’ll find similar recipes. Italian frappe are known as sfrappole in Bologna, fiocchetti in Romagna and with many other names in the other Italian regions: intrigoni, chiacchiere, crostoli, sprelle, galani, meraviglie, cenci.
Frappe are thin, fried ribbons (or rhombus, squares, rectangles) of dough topped with powdered sugar.
Even if, yes I have to admit it, I really never loved Carnival and the habit to dress costumes and masks, not even when I was a child, I love all its sweet treats.
And especially frappe that for me are sfrappole.
Here I share my grandma’s recipe.
- Make gluten free dough using chestnut and chickpeas flours instead of flour 00.
- Make a healthier version cooking frappe into the oven at 180C degrees for about 10 minutes or until borders golden.
- My grandma used Rosolio liqueur aroma to flower: What you should know about Italian Rosolio liqueurs.
480 g flour 00
eggs, 2 medium or 3 little
a bit of cognac, about 20 g
a bit of olive oil, about 20 g
filtered juice of 1 yellow orange
80 g white or cane sugar
8 g baking powder
sunflower oil for frying
powdered sugar to taste
Mix together all of the dry ingredients.
Pour the mix onto a wooden pastry board or on a large working surface, make a little well in the centre and put eggs and cognac and orange juice there.
Knead all the ingredients with your hands, as if to make homemade pasta. Knead it at least for 10 minutes, until the dough becomes very elastic and smooth and it no longer sticks to your hands.
Let stand for about 10 minutes and once it begins to harden, roll out the dough with a rolling pin or with the pasta machine to make long and paper thin sheets of pasta, about 1 or 2 mm thick, so that the frappe will be feather light when fried.
Cut the pasta sheets with a knife or a wheel into long, thin strips or cubes or rhombus.
Fry in a large pan with vegetable hot oil until for about 30 seconds for side and when they become golden in color, carefully remove them from the oil and place on a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar just when cold.
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