Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Friday, 3rd May 2013

Chiacchiere, sweet pastry fried until crispy and dusted with confectioners’ sugar, is traditionally prepared for Italian Carnevale. These Venetian Fried Pastries or Italian fritters go by different names, Crostoli, Cenci, BugieCioffe, Frappe, Fiochetti, Sfrappole, and Galani, depending on the region in which they are prepared.

A photo of Chiacchiere displayed on a sheet of non-stick baking paper.

The origin of this sweet treat is traced back to frictilia of ancient Rome. During the same months in which Carnevale is celebrated today, Romans used to prepare frictilia to celebrate the end of winter. Frictilia, sweet pastry strips that were deep fried in pork fat, were prepared in large quantities, because the goal was to make them last for the entire period that corresponds to the tradition of Lent.

A photo of a heaping plateful of Italian Crostoli.

Although they are typically prepared for Carnevale they are also commonly served at Christmas, Easter and special occasions like baptisms and weddings.

A photo of Chiacchiere on a white rectangle shaped serving dish.

I remember receiving towering trays of Chiacchiere at Christmas time. My mother used to store them in the cold room to keep them fresh. She always knew when I’d been sneaking it for a taste or two because my face was covered in confectioners’ sugar – they were so hard to resist!

I prepared these by hand using a rolling pin and rolling the dough quite thin can be a bit of a workout but you can also roll the pastry dough with a pasta machine, similar to preparing Cannoli shells.

A photo of a bowl of Venetian Fried Pastries displayed with a bowl of fresh blueberries.

Along with the various given names these sweet fried pastry strips are also cut and shaped in various ways, squares, rectangles, diamonds, thin strips tied in loose knots and of course, the bow shape that I’ve prepared.

Just a friendly warning, whatever name, shape or size, Chiacchiere are very, very hard to resist, one leads to two and two to three and before you know it the bountiful tray is all gone!

A photo taken looking down on Italian Crostoli displayed on nonstick baking paper.

Thankfully, Chiacchiere are very simple to prepare.

Happy Weekend!

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Biscotti, Cookies, Dolci Fritti, Fried Desserts, Pasticcini, Pastries, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Recipes, Ricette di Base

Comments (6)

6 Responses to “Venetian Fried Pastries – Chiacchiere or Crostoli”

  1. Alyssa B Says:

    Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog while researching panna cotta. All of the photographs are beautiful! I especially love all the fun dishes and little silverware. Where do you find all the fun serveware? I was also wondering how you get the plain black backgrounds in a lot of your pictures. The negative space really lets the food be the star of the photos.
    Thanks! I will definitely be following your blog :)

  2. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Thank you so much Alyssa, I’ve found a lot of the silverware at Home Sense, Anthropologie and Crate and Barrel. My sister, Connie, made me a wonderful sweep using black fabric for the images.

  3. Maura Says:

    Ciao Grace, e’ un po’ che non posti. Tutto bene? Bacioni

  4. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Good Morning Maura, thank you so much for your concern. My daughter, Liana was rushed to hospital a few weeks ago, she began experiencing grand mal seizures out of the blue. Maura I’ve never been so scared in all my life. I’ve never witnessed someone having a seizure before and when she went into one it was almost like someone had nailed my feet to the floor. The doctors have been running many tests but unfortunately we don’t have any answers yet. I finally made a cake yesterday and as soon as we started with the images she was getting sick again, the same signs as that morning a few weeks ago, I didn’t get any sleep last night because I was checking her every few minutes. The first seizure she experienced was at home in the middle of the night, she didn’t remember any of it and I didn’t even know she had one. That morning she told me she was nauseous and then I noticed her tongue was all bruised, don’t ask me why but for some reason I thought seizure right away, when she collapsed and was unresponsive I thought maybe she was having another, more mild seizure and I called emergency right away. Thankfully her next seizure was in hospital because it was the grand mal. Thankfully now I know what to do and how to handle if she experiences one at home. I’m hoping to put up a post today, she wanted to continue with the photos last night but I’m not sure how she’ll feel this morning and if she’ll be up to finishing with the editing, we’ll see. I didn’t want to ask her to do too much in the last couple of weeks, it’s important she get on a good schedule, lots of rest etc. The anti-seizure medication has been wreaking some havoc. The doctor said it would take at least three weeks before her body was used to the medication. I can’t help but worry but she’s starting to get a little angry with my hovering, I told her some day when she’s a mom she’ll understand and hover too. How are things with you?

  5. Maura Says:

    Oh my God Grace, I am so sorry for your daughter. I hope the medications will give her back her old life, and live worry free, as a girl of her age should. I can imagine you running after her every need, to be honest with you, I would do the same, it’s the only way to feel you are doing something, is the only “control” over this thing that you have. One day she’ll understand.
    I’ll pray for her and for all your family, I am very sorry you have to deal with illness again, as if what happened to you wasn’t enough.
    Do stay strong and don’t worry about the blog, if the pictures aren’t perfect, I am sure that nobody would mind.
    I give you a virtual hug in the hope that things will go back to normal as soon as possible.
    Maura

  6. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Thank you so much Maura!

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