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Carnival Cakes: fritelle, chiacchiere and castagnole

Carnival is celebrated in winter, but its starting date varies every year. In order to calculate its exact date of beginning, it is necessary to count 40 days backwards from the beginning of Easter.

Hand-made fritelle filled with cream

The fritella, called fritoa in the local dialect, is the dessert par excellence of the Venetian Carnival. Its recipe is still preserved in a document kept in Rome, in the Casanatese library.

The fritelle have been eaten in Venice and in the territories starting from the second half of the 1300s. They were placed on a spit to be able to eat them while they were still hot and without greasing your hands.

Traditional Venetian frìtelle are prepared with a batter of flour, eggs, milk and sugar, raisins and pine nuts; they are then fried and served with a sprinkling of granulated sugar.

Venetian galani or chiacchiere

The chiacchiere better known as “galani” date back to Roman times too, when during the spring festivals they were cooked in pork fat using a mixture similar to that of the lasagna, which was then sugared.

They are thin strips of dough made up of a mixture of flour, sugar, butter, eggs, white wine, lemon zest and rum and then fried.


The castagnole are also a typical dessert that is eaten only at Carnival.

The main ingredients are eggs, sugar, flour and butter. After mixing them all together, balls the size of a walnut are formed, which are then fried in boiling oil. They are served with powdered sugar.

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