Discover the history and the original recipe of the traditional dessert of the Venice Carnival.

As many already know, Carnival is one of the most important festivals in the tradition of Venice. In this period bakeries and pastry shops of the city show off in their display cabinets sweet delights we would like to tell you about. Do you want to try your hand at preparing them? Discover the recipe at the end of this article!

Frittelle: traditional Carnival sweets in Venice, history

The recipe of the Venetian fritole appears for the first time in the ‘300 and today we can find a trace of them in a gastronomic document kept in a library in Rome.

Since the Renaissance, the frittelle officially entered the Olympus of Venetian cuisine becoming the typical dessert of the Carnival. From the end of the Christmas holidays in the streets of the city you could meet the fritoleri, vendors who made fritole dressed in the typical apron.

Curiosity: Do you know that in Carlo Goldoni’s comedy, Il Campiello, the protagonist Orsola is a fritolera?

Frittelle: traditional Carnival sweets in Venice, the recipe

Although fritoleri were allowed to pass on the trade exclusively to their children, the recipe of fritolahas known over the centuries many variations, such as that prepared during the Jewish festival of Purim.

In Veneto and in the neighboring regions alternative recipes were developed that included wild mountain herbs, rice or even polenta.

The recipe we propose here is one of the most popular ones in Venice and if you want to test yourself and measure your culinary skills follow it step by step and tell us how it went in the comments!

Ingredients (for 6 people)

400g of flour, 100g of sultanas, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 eggs; about 1 glass of milk, 1 small glass of rum, 30g of brewer’s yeast, salt, peanut oil for frying and icing sugar.

  1. Put the raisins in warm water.
  2. Crumble the yeast of beer and add it to 60ml of warm water, stir until the yeast has melted.
  3. In a large bowl mix the flour with three teaspoons of sugar and the rind of a grated lemon.
  4. Pour the flour, the yeast dissolved in the water and start stirring with the whisk and finally add the rum.
  5. In another bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt.
  6. Pour the eggs into the dough and add the milk gradually, stirring constantly.
  7. When you have obtained a fluid dough, don’t add any more milk, then squeeze the raisins well, add them to the dough and mix to distribute well.
  8. Cover the bowl with a sheet of transparent film and let it rise for an hour and a half or two. When the dough has risen twice its initial volume, take it out.
  9. Warm up plenty of peanut oil to 170°, take small amounts of dough, about half a tablespoon, and drop them into boiling oil.
  10. When they start to swell, turn them around to make them uniformly brown, drain and place them in a plate with a piece of kitchen paper underneath. When they are still warm dust them with icing sugar.

When they cool a bit you’ll be able to enjoy this sweet delight!

If you are a lover of good food continue exploring the Venetian food and wine tradition on our blog, discover other delicacies here.