In case you didn’t know, It’s CARNEVALE time! Carnevale started on Feb 6th this year and runs through Feb 16th! Carnevale is truly an experience, and I think everyone should experience it at least once in their lives – in VENICE (Italy, Not CA) of course!
I was fortunate enough to live only about 1 hours train ride from Venice when in lived in Friuli and went to Carnevale many times. Each time was more incredible than the last. They have parades, balls (yes masquerade of course), music, parties, you name it. There’s as much confetti flying everywhere as there are pigeons. It’s quite a party. A Carnevale ogni scherzo vale (anything goes at Carnevale)!
Photo Credit : “Alaskan Dude”
The people, the costumes (nothing like the Halloween costumes you might be used to seeing here, no these are WOW really WOW) & masks (maschere) are super important. You can find very inexpensive ones or super duper elaborate ones that could cost you a fortune, I’m talking an arm & a leg! And did I mention the food? Ah, the FOOD! There are certain foods that you could only find during Carnevale and for me CROSTOLI was the one I liked the best!
As with many things in Italy, they’re called by different names in different regions. You might have heard them called: galani, chiacchere or cenci. But being partial to my beloved Friuli, Crostoli is I think, the best name ; ) tee hee
So are you wondering what this Crostoli is I’ve been raving about? Well, it’s a sweet dough strip, that has hints of lemon & grappa (oh yeah baby) that has been fried and then doused with powdered sugar. What’s not to love! For me it’s a food memory that’s hard to beat! I practically ate the entire plate of them when I made them to share with you! How I only wish I could find my Carnevale masks. Boo hiss, I’m guessing they’re packed away safely somewhere in my parents attic, along with the rest of my childhood memorabilia LOL.
So go ahead, put a mask on, whip up a batch of Crostoli & celebrate Carnevale!
What you’ll need:
400 g all purpose flour
70 g unsalted butter – melted
50 g sugar
1o ounces Grappa
zest of 1 lemon
vegetable or canola oil (to fry)
What to do:
1. Into your stand mixer bowl add: eggs, sugar and melted butter. Mix well to combine. Add lemon zest, grappa. Mix to combine. Add salt and GRADUALLY add flour.
2. Transfer dough to your working surface and knead until dough is at a nice silky consistency. Cut your dough ball into 4 equal pieces. Place 1 piece onto your work surface and cover the remaining pieces with a kitchen towel.
3. Place enough oil into a deep sided dish to fry your Crostoli (approx 2″). Heat oil to 350 degrees. WHILE oil is heating up, roll out your dough to a thin layer. Using your pastry wheel, cut the dough into rectangles and then using the pastry wheel, place a small slit down the middle of each rectangle. Continue until all of your dough is rolled out and cut.
4. When oil is hot, fry your strips of dough. Careful not to crowd the pan. Remember to monitor the temperature of your oil. You’ll need to do this in batches. When strips are golden, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. While still hot sprinkle powdered sugar on top. Continue until all pieces are done.