It’s Carnival Time!

coriandoli.gifCarnival season has officially started! Although celebrations will peak on martedi’ grasso (mardi gras on the 5th of February), you can already see kids in the streets wearing costumes and throwing confetti and “stelle filanti” (ribbons of paper).
But most importantly, bakeries and patisseries are filled with carnival sweets, which you can have to accompany lunch, dinners or afternoon tea!

gale2.jpgMy favourites are called chiacchiere (but they also go by crostoli, frappe or bugie depending on the region), which are ribbon-like pastries fried and then covered in icing sugar. The main variation lies in the form that is given to the batter: rolled out thinly with a rolling pin and then cut into rectangles or ribbons, or twisted into butterfly shapes.

tortellicarnevale50.jpgThe other most common Carnival sweets are tortelli (not to be confused with tortellini, the fresh pasta), which are little balls of fried dough, somehow reminiscent of doughnut holes or oliebollen. Once cooked they are rolled in caster sugar and can be filled with jam, pastry cream, chocolate or even ricotta.

Now…it’s not surprising I have yet to loose my pregnancy weight: first it was Christmas, and now it’s Carnival… my diet will have to wait until Lent!



Comments (6)

January 29, 2008

Oh what fun!! There is nothing better than Italian treats! Yum!
And it’s only been two months since the baby was born… you shouldn’t be in too big of a rush!! 🙂

January 30, 2008

The Italian Cultural Institute in London is organising a Carnival party this Saturday and we are all going! I am very excited because my daughter (half Italian half Greek) can have some taste of the season celebrations since in the UK we celebrate only Halloween.
She is going to dress as Snow White (she picked up the dress herself) but the fun is when you make you own costume! I remember my Mum making costumes for us when we were young but even as a student we would spend hours with my friends thinking of what to wear. Then we would hit the streets and go to parties.
We have no special sweets in Greece for the Carnival season but I wouldn’t mind having some of these in the pictures, they look absolutely delicious!!!

January 30, 2008

Hey Olia, what do you mean, ‘in the UK we only celebrate Halloween’? What about Bonfire Night November 5th? or Christmas, and Easter? Lots of places and people organise egg hunts etc.
New Year is massive in Scotland along with Burns Night on Jan 25, and St David’s Day March 1st is a big deal in Wales, you know.

January 30, 2008

Takes me back to my childhood in Germany, Karnaval is huge there, everyone goes completely mad for one week. There are huge parades with decorated trailers being pulled by tractors! People sit on them, possibly getting very drunk, and throwing candies at children. It would be interesting to go back now as an adult with children and see if it is still so much fun!

January 30, 2008

In the Netherlands we have a strange division between the ‘north’ and the ‘south’. This has to do with the fact that after the Eighty Years’ War the Southern Netherlands remained under Spanish rule – and thus the only religion allowed was catholicism!
(In the North the reformation took place and thus became mostly calvinistic – this explains some of the Dutch characteristics – simple is best!).
Anyway, nowadays the south is still mostly catholic and the north mostly protestant (even though most people from my generation prefer to be atheist), and this is why in the Netherlands Carneval is only celebrated in the south!
According to my husband, this is also why I look more Spanish than Dutch (except for my length) – my great, great, great grandmother must have gone astray with one of the Spanish supressors!

February 1, 2008

Oh Nicola, don’t’ get me wrong; I was only trying to make a comparison between Halloween and Carnival. Actually Bone fire night is one of our favourites festivities.
Is the start of the firework season. Every weekend after the 5th November you can hear fireworks in somebody’s back garden and it gets you into the spirit for Christmas!!!

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