33 Comments

Extraordinary! Sabrina and I little knew when we first talked with you about this collaboration that the Egyptian-Venetian connection would be so rich and be the basis of such a deep and fascinating history.

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Same here really, what fascinating discoveries! And there's so much more to say, enough material for the next 2 or 3 carnival posts I dare say :) It was such a pleasure to embark on this adventure with you both, thanks for playing along! (Still dreaming about the green falafel recipe in you last post, can't wait to try it , yum!)

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Likewise! Looking forward to trying the doughnuts too! There is one more part to our Egyptian adventure to publish, so excited to continuing the conversation and collaboration ;)

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Looking forward to read it, one day I'd love to go on a cruise on the Nile... it just feels so decadent and nostalgic, right up my (imaginary) street :) Have a good start to your week!

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Feb 26, 2023Liked by Sinù Fogarizzu

Hello from Brooklyn! This is really uncanny. Last January I made multiple batches of fritelle, trying out and tinkering with different recipes.... and the conclusion of my researches is a recipe of ingredients and technique that look almost identical to yours! See below. I made them again last week from this recipe and it really works well--especially the two rises and not disturbing the risen dough before spooning it directly into the hot oil.

A question for you: How long can one let the risen dough sit before frying? For example, if the rise is complete after 2 hours, can one delay frying for another 2 hours? Or will the dough collapse?

Having done a fair amount of fritelle research myself, I really appreciate the historical sources you found. I'm not surprised that there is an Egyptian element here--but that is another story.

Thanks for the great post!

Nancy Y.

Venetian Fritelle (January 2022)

Step 1: 13g yeast dissolved in 50ml water plus 50ml milk (lukewarm) and 1tsp of sugar. Let stand until foamy (20-30 mins)

Step 2: Mix in 220 grams flour, 20grams sugar, 50grams currants (previously soaked in rum), a small handful of chopped candied lemon peel, zest of one orange, pinch of salt

Step 3: Mix in 1 egg and another 100ml of warm milk

Step 4: Cover and let rise until doubled (2 hours?)

Step 5: Do not disturb risen dough. Spoon batter into hot oil. Fry at 350F. Roll in sugar.

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Hi Nancy, thank you so much for subscribing! It was a lovely surprise to read your comment. I think this is a really good recipe, and I'm glad you think the same. To answer your question: once, I made the batter in the evening and left it in the fridge to rise overnight. In the morning, it looked fine, but after a while sitting on the counter (I was testing three different batters at once), it did deflate a bit. On the second day, the fritters were drier and harder than usual, and a friend of mine who specializes in long-rise pizza dough said it was because the glutinous bonds had collapsed as a consequence of the overnight rise being too long. Another friend of mine, who is a trained chef, said that 1 to 2 hours is just fine. If you test the recipe with a longer rising time, do you mind keeping me posted? It is so interesting!

Next year, I will test different types of recipes with a regular dough instead of batter. Historically, these fritters had a hole in the middle, so the dough must have been thick enough to allow some sort of manipulation and shaping.

By the way, where does this passion for Venetian cuisine come from? It sounds like you might have some interesting stories to tell!

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Hi Sinù,

Thanks for taking the time to answer! This is such a bubbly and loose dough when risen. I was busy with something else on one occasion and the dough was on its own for over 3 hours. It was just fine when fried. But you've confirmed my sense that the timing is delicate.

On Venetian cuisine--it is a long story. The fritelle passion goes back to a month I spent da sola in Venice in February many years ago during which I discovered and devoured the fritters from many wonderful pastry shops. I had a long conversation with the baker who made my favorites, at a pasticceria (now no more) in a quiet bit of Castello. He described how they were made, and insisted they were unreproducible outside of the Veneto because of the quality of the local water and flour. I half-believed him. I've made approximations in the past, but last year I had the time to experiment, like you, with several batches and settle on a recipe I can return to.

Anyway, having done some research myself, I was delighted to find your newsletter--genuine history and detail and enthusiasm. I'm looking forward to reading more, and hearing more about the book you are translating.

Cheers, N

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"For centuries, Egypt was Venice's preferred gateway to the goods coming from the East. It must have seen tremendous flows of people, products, and, of course, foods"

Not to mention the body of San Marco himself, "liberated" from Alexandria so long ago! 😄

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And can we talk about HOW they managed to do so??? Naughty Venetians!!

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Ha! I thought about that, but didn't want to derail the coversation TOO much.

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yum - I just might prefer these fritters to the our Roman frappe...!

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They're very different! We have the same type of fried "lasagne" here and growing up it was the only carnival treat in my parents' home. Then... I discovered Frittelle and I'm not looking back 😂

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Love all the history you've included here, Sinù. Thank you for the kind mention. I am going to link to this post, as I know my readers would be interested in reading it. Cheers, D

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Thank you, that's so nice of you! I absolutely loved your post, Domenica. I read it in one bite while finishing up mine. It felt so serendipitous ✨

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What a fascinating history these little fritters have! Your recipe is so well written that I actually think I could make them! They do remind me a little of the latkes and sufganiyot (jelly donuts) that we eat at Hanukkah, but obviously hugely different in terms of ingredients, history and meaning. The trick with the almonds might be a game changer. Thanks for a thoroughly, enjoyable post, Sinù!

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Thank you for reading Ruth!

The funny thing is that although I have never tried sufganiyot, I've heard the word so many times in Venice. When I was working as a waitress there, my former employer would joke with me saying that if I didn't behave he would "throw me a sufganyiot"! I was too scared (not really) to ask what he meant by that but my guess is that it's either a big slap or... something obscene lol. Anyway!

Let me know if you try the almond trick, it worked for me :)

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Feb 20, 2023Liked by Sinù Fogarizzu

Oh this is a masterstroke of a letter Sinù! Please tell me you are writing a book! Impeccably crafted, like all you do. Oh I'm desperate to try those. They sound divine. Xx

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Thank you so much Olivia, it's comments like yours that motivate me to keep going ❤️ Writing the piece was a bit of a fight against time, with all the research and recipe testing involved, but a fun kind of fight anyway 🥳 Have a great start to your week, ciao from a super foggy morning in Venice mainland!

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double yum!

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😋 triple even!

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This post has certainly introduced Carnival fritters to me and I am fascinated by them. They look a bit like South Indian bonda, with entirely different sets of ingredients. How amazing is their Egyptian history. Thanks for the recipe.

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Hi Rieethaa, thank you so much for your comment, I'm glad you liked the posy 😊 I just looked up Bonda and they do look similar to fritoe... and equally inviting. Thanks for mentioning them.

By the way, I saw that you write a vegetarian blog , how amazing! Have you been vegetarian all your life?

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I am more of a flexitarian. My blog does have a few meat based recipes but they're as infrequent as my urge to eat meat :) I do write on substack as well. Please do subscribe if you like it. Really enjoyed learning about this traditional dish from Venice.

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Oh that's interesting, so it's more like intuitive eating. I love to resarch people's eating habits :)

I'm subscribing right away!

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Correct. It's intuitive in that you enjoy the occasional meat based food but you're mostly vegetarian. Thank you so much for subscribing :)

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The history! They look so delicious, Sinù! I love the description/term ‘opulence and thrift’ - I’ve been following stories from around the world about Carnevale, all wonderful, but Venice would definitely be my choice!

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Thank you so much Jolene for reading :) I'm fascinated by this mix of opposites, too. There were some amazing carnival posts popping up in my inbox the past week and weekend, how good it is to learn more about this wonderful celebration!

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Feb 19, 2023Liked by Sinù Fogarizzu

Piccoli pezzetti di paradiso!! One of Venice's pure indulgent treats.. 🥰🥰

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I dare say, the best! Followed by Essi Buranei, Focaccia and Torta Greca :)

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I love how you traced the history! The fritters remind me of eating zeppole at Italian street festivals when I lived in New York, although yours sound more flavorful. That's a great bit of information about the almonds preventing the oil from smoking. Thanks for translating the quantities into teaspoons and cups for us Americans.

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Feb 20, 2023·edited Feb 20, 2023Author

Hello Vicki! Thank you for reading. I'm so very glad that you found some useful information in this post. The almond trick works like magic. We were all stunned by it. It also helps prevent burning your oil - I kept the temperature in check between batches with a thermometer. Fried dough can be found in all cultures around the world (🥳) but I agree with you that these Venetian doughnuts are particularly flavorful.

By the way, I'm sorry I didn't come to my senses sooner! I'm so used to metric measurements that I didn't realize so many of my readers use a different system. I will continue to think of ways to make my recipe posts more accessible ❤️

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Bone e fritoe!

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Eh ciò!

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