Frittelle on the First Day of Carnival
A Year of Seasonal Eating | pt.2
ANNOUNCEMENT: join me on Instagram for a live walk in Venice tomorrow, Sunday the 13th, 11:30 am Italian time. We’ll stroll from Campo Santa Margherita to Zattere, chatting food and my favourite views of the Giudecca Canal. I’ll see you there!
A Year of Seasonal Eating (Part 2)
It’s the first day of Carnival here in Venice. The realization strikes me and I’m suddenly wide awake.
I fumble for my phone and look up a number for I have to secure ourselves a tray of the softest frittelle. I know what bakery I want to call. It’s one of the most popular on the mainland and at this time of the year, queues line the sidewalk outside the shop. The frittelle frenzy has officially begun.
I recite in my head “3 with custard, 3 veneziane, yes, also 2 with sabjon, please…yes, the big one…ok, we’ll pick them up by 3”.
Eight large frittelle will do…I say to myself…It’s just the two of us after all. But as I dial in, the swirl of a feeling glows feebly in front of me. I tilt my head, squint. And then I see it.
I see frittelle by the dozens and long lost friends sitting at my table, asking how I have been. I see smiles and hear laughter, as raisins and pine nuts explode in a splash of confetti. We pop open a bottle and the bubbles fizz to our heads. More waves of laughter and an empty seat saved for the things that will never be the same. Unlike frittelle, of course, whose return is guaranteed. Like clockwork, every year, they dress the windows of the finest shops, beating time in the city like a metronome would do for a beautiful song.
…“Hello, this is Milady bakery, how can I help you?”…
I’m swept back to reality. For a fraction of a second, I believe I’m about to request a tray of 30 frittelle. But I refrain. This learning to cook thing is starting to show, 8 will do.
Frittelle & Galani
Between January and February, galani (fried dough crackers) and frittelle (fried dough balls filled with pine nuts and raisins, custard, chantilly or sabajon) take centre stage in bakeries, bars and supermarkets for a few, much anticipated weeks. Such cherished treats herald the beginnings of Carnival in Venice… you can smell them in the air, lip corners curling up.
Here are the recipes for you:
FRITTELLE - read about the unexpected origin of this deep fried treat, plus my recipe.
GALANI - this recipe is from a restaurant we like to go to for cicchetti and a glass of wine.
Where to eat frittelle in Venice
Where you should start your very personal hunt for the perfect frittella:
Pasticceria Italo Didovich, try also the mini lemon curd & meringue pastry basket.
Pasticceria Rizzardini, where I usually do two rounds of everything.
Pasticceria Tonolo, apple fritters are a must here, although you'll have to be here early or they'll all be gone in the blink of an eye.
My name is Sinù Fogarizzu and I’m a vegetarian food writer from the mainland of Venice, Italy. In 2021, I launched Dash of Prosecco, a Substack newsletter about learning to cook, identity and Venetian cuisine. I’m on Instagram & Twitter.
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