Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 3rd February 2012

Crema Fritta alla Veneziana, Venetian Style Fried Cream, traditional street food enjoyed throughout Veneto, Italy, is going to knock your socks off! Fried desserts (in my opinion) are the ultimate indulgence (or is chocolate? hmm…) and this one is absolutely sinful.  The crispy golden coating tempts you but the oozing creamy centre will have you begging for more especially if you enjoy the taste of vanilla.  I infused the vanilla in the crema pasticcera (pastry cream) for longer than usual and the rich flavour of vanilla lingers on the palette, magnificent.

A photo of Crema Fritta alla Veneziana, Venetian Style Fried Cream, dusted with confectioners' sugar in a paper cone displayed on a dark wooden board.

These fried pastries are typically prepared during the Christmas season and Carnevale, Italian Winter Festival.  Carnevale is one of largest festivals celebrated in Italy and the celebration in Venice is among the most popular and best known carnivals in the world.  I have yet to partake in Carnevale but I hope to remedy that one day – very soon!  Carnevale falls on Shrove Tuesday but the festivities are celebrated throughout Italy for weeks prior to the official date.

A photo of Fried Cream, Venice street food, displayed on a white cheese cloth on a dark wooden board.

Because the date for Easter changes yearly so does the date for the festival.  Carnevale can begin as early as February 3 and can run as late as March 9 (my parent’s wedding anniversary).  The official celebrations for Carnevale di Venezia always begin two Fridays before Ash Wednesday with the final celebration on Shrove Tuesday.  This year the festivities will commence February 11.  I wish I were hopping on a plane to join in on all the fun.

A photo of Crema Fritta, Fried Pastry Cream, arranged on a wooden board with a fine mesh sieve filled with confectioners' sugar for dusting.

I was a young girl the last time I partook in one of the festivals (Festa Santa Maria).  It was the summer of ’79 and I don’t think I will ever forget that day.  The religious festival was celebrated in Lupara.  At the time the only way to get to Lupara was to walk through the countryside, no cars, no buses or trains but my Zio Tommaso did have a mule.  Guess how long it takes to walk to Lupara? – 4 very long hours!  I remember complaining and saying to my mom, “Do I have to go?” “Does it really take 4 hours?”

We began our pilgrimage in the wee hours of the morning.  It was cold, dark and there was an eerie silence as we walked.  Everyone was toting bags and bags of food and wine (of course), blankets and many of the locals were carrying guitars, harmonicas and accordions.  I thought to myself they must be crazy to lug these instruments all the way through the fields and up the mountain.  And a few of the chosen ones were carrying the statue of the Blessed Mary.  And it wasn’t a chore but an honour.

A photo of Italian Dessert Pastry, Crema Fritta alla Veneziana, displayed in a row on a white dish.

I can’t tell you how grateful I was when the sun started peeking through the trees.  The chatter began and before too long everyone was laughing, stories were being exchanged, the music and the singing began and of course the eating and drinking.  I think it took us about 8 hours to get to Lupara that day but getting there was so much fun.  No one was in a hurry; we stopped frequently, laid out our blankets and enjoyed the feast.

A close up photo of Fried Custard, an Italian Dessert, arranged in a row on a white ceramic dish.

With Carnevale celebrations underway I thought it was only fitting that if I couldn’t enjoy the festivities I could at least enjoy some of the treats.  I made two large batches of Crema Fritta alla Veneziana and I am enjoying the celebrations in true Italian style through the food.  I hope you’ll join me!  And please share your traditions in the comments, I would love to hear about your culture and festivals.

A photo of Italian Desserts, Crema Fritta alla Veneziana, arranged in a row on white cheese cloth.

Crema Fritta alla Veneziana

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci Fritti, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fried Desserts, Pasticcini, Pastries, Recipes, Ricette di Base

Comments (18)

18 Responses to “Crema Fritta alla Veneziana {Venetian Style Fried Cream}”

  1. Kathryn Says:

    Oh goodness, these look like the ultimate indulgence! I love your story of taking part in the festival too.

  2. Janet@FCTC Says:

    I loved your story. Sounds like you made a wonderful memory there :-)

    And I KNOW I would love the fried cream. I have heard of it before but never been lucky enough to try it. Now I can :-)

  3. Kiri W. Says:

    Mmmm, I had these in Venice, DIVINE. Thanks for sharing this recipe and reminding me :)

  4. Grace Says:

    I am so jealous Kiri!

  5. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    You are right, I couldn’t eat just one of these!

  6. Irina Says:

    Very interesting recipe and beautiful photos!Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen Says:

    That sounds outrageously good!

  8. Mi Vida en un Dulce Says:

    Pasty Cream is one of my favorities for filling a dessert, I found so delicate. Never try it fried, but sounds deliciuos.
    Here in Peru, in the city of Puno we have a carnival festival called La Candelaria, it’s also in February and take 18 days.

  9. Grace Says:

    Nydia I was curious about your festival and did a little reading this morning. The festival sounds amazing and I would love to see the fireworks display from what I’ve read it sounds absolutely amazing!

  10. Carolyn Says:

    Wow, these look amazing. I’ve never heard of Fried Cream like this, but it looks like it’s worth all the effort.

  11. Lora @cakeduchess Says:

    Crema fritta is such an indulgent treat. My mother-in-law is the queen of any thing fried (sweet or savory)and I can’t resist when she makes something. I love your sweet story about walking to Lupara. I hope to return one day for Carnevale with my kids. I have fond memories of being there when I was little:)xx

  12. Marly Says:

    I love reading about all these carnivals. I guess you need to find something to celebrate in these dreary winter months. Of course, that theory may not apply in Peru! As always, Grace, your stories, photographs, and recipes are so entertaining! Hope you get to go to that Carnevele celebration in Italy soon!

  13. Geraldine Saucier Says:

    Your Venetian Style Fried Cream looks and sounds so delicious:) I can’t wait to try the recipe. Congratulations on Foodbuzz Top 9.

  14. Amy @ FragrantVanillaCake Says:

    This sounds wonderful in every way! I have never heard of this dish, but would love to try it! Congrats on the Top 9!

  15. Javelin Warrior Says:

    Your fried cream is incredible and I’ve never heard of this before – obviously my loss! I have featured this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks for the inspiration

  16. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts Says:

    Oh my ,these look so delicious! I love fried desserts, especially with the powdered sugar on top :)

  17. Kari @ Culinarication Says:

    This is something I must try.. looks too amazing not to! Your trip sounds absolutely phenomenal, I can’t wait until I get the chance to go back to Italy.

  18. Cheryl Says:

    Printed the recipe immediately….can’t wait to try it!
    Thanks!

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