February 16, 2010

FAT TUESDAY- Martedi Grasso- Mardi Gras- Shrove Tuesday

Let the good times roll! inside our cab in NOLA!!!
Florence also uses the Fleur du Lys

Easter comes early this year, which means carnival is already here. Most people think of the fabulous costumes in Venice and the parties in palazzi, but it is also a festival of the people. Streets are filled with families in costumes and kids throwing confetti and running around shooting spray cans of foam at friends. In old video's of the parade with floats on the Tuscan Coast at Viareggio, after the war, the joke was to through flour on people. Cheap thrills, but fun being wild and crazy.

 A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale!

I adore the sweets that are made for celebrations here in Italy. Being just the two of us, this year I decided to buy some Cenci and the Frittelle di Riso as the recipes make HUGE amounts.

 left, Cenci, Frappe or Chiacchere and on the right, sweet rice fritters Frittelle di Riso

I have written about making the Frittelle di Riso before as they are also made in March for Italy's Father's Day celebrations. You can click on the link to see it again. There are two schools, some leave the rice so when you eat it you can taste the actual rice grains, others over-cook to create more of a rice paste. I prefer to taste the texture. The lemon zest in the milk is also a lovely touch, so much so that now I also cut the zest into small pieces and leave it in the mixture. Getting a bite of zest is a surprise.

The flat, fried Cenci, are available now in a baked versions at all the local shops so I just buy them. They are so fragile they break as you pick them up, I will try to learn to make them. I bet they run the dough through a pasta machine first and probably have lard in the dough.

But often for a party will make up a tray of fried dough. It is also a recipe that my Russian Grandmother made. Try the recipe and see if you love them too!

Thinking about other traditions, Mardi Gras and Shrove Tuesday- I could have made some pancakes or Beignet-  How did you celebrate?


  1. We grew up calling it Pancake Day....we look forward to it every year!!

  2. Those fried dough pastries are so addictive - and I ate a ton of them on this last trip to Italy. What did you do with all yours if it's just the two of you? Did you eat them all?

  3. we bought a small amount- if I had made my own would have been way too much!

  4. oh man, those desserts looks sooo tasty! Wish I could have some right now ... it would be the perfect after dinner sweet!

  5. The desserts look lovely...enticing...and delicious!!