Sunday, February 04, 2007


Yesterday I had friends over for dinner and I took the chance to make chiacchiere for the year (chi sound in Italian is ki). They are so good an addictive that I only make once a year, in fact they are a classical fried threat for Carnevale.

Chiacchiere means chit chats, my idea is because they are crunchy and when you eat them they produce a noise that make you think of chit chatting. The name varies all around Italy, I am not even sure I can recall all of them: bugie, frappe, sfrappe, crostoli, galani, cenci.

The recipe I follow was posted by Sergio Salomoni on the Cucina Italiana forum some years ago.

500g Flour 00 type (you could use also a AP flour, better with low protein content)
50g sugar
50g softened butter
3 small eggs (or 2 large eggs and 1 yolk)
a small glass of grappa (or even white wine, as I did this time)
a small glass of dry marsala
a pinch of salt

I halved the recipe using 1 egg and one yolk and I manage to fry a big tray of chiacchiere

Work the ingredients adding the grappa and marsala a little at the time to adjust the necessary liquid content to get to a smooth, pretty stiff dough. Should be like a pasta dough.

Let rest covered for one hour. After the resting time, cut and roll the dough with the imperia (or pasta) machine. I like to stop at the third last thickness, or second last of my pasta machine. Some people like it thinner. I do not let dry the sheets of dough but immediately go on cutting and frying.

With a serrated pastry wheel I cut rectangles of about 4 inches x 2.5 (10 cm x6 cm) and cut in the middle of each rectangles without getting to the hedges, lengthwise. But you can cut longer and thin strips and tie them, or you can be creative.

Deep fry in planty of oil ( I use peanut oil), but many Italians for Carnival, where excesses are permitted, will use lard, because fried stuff come out perfectly dry and not oily. I find that if you do that you need a very good lard, otherwise you'll have an aftertaste.

Chiacchiere are very easy to make, you need to be just a little careful in frying, the oil should be hot but not to the point where the chiacchiere will burn as soon as you put them in. So, not french fries temperature, maybe around 160 C. My suggestion is to fry no more then 3 chiacchiere at the time and turn them after few seconds, they should be of a nice golden colour, not dark.

Drain them on paper and when they are all done dust with powdered sugar. If you plan to eat them immediately they don't need to be covered, I do only if I want to keep for several days. Do not refrigerate.

Before trying them wait until they are cold and powdered with sugar.

You can serve with sanguinaccio, as they do in Naples


Pille said...

So they were Chiacchiere!! I saw these pastries everywhere when skiing in Breuil-Cervinia during Carnivale, but I didn't know how they're called. Thanks for telling me:)

Franci said...

Hi Pille, yes, chiacchiere and many other names!
Thanks for visiting my blog

Anonymous said...

My grandmother for many years made these. She called them "Latugies". I am sure this is misspelled. This is what everyone in the family called them without a lot of thought, as to why, until now. She has passed, and we did not get her recipe. As was her ravioli recipe (which we did get), the "latugie" recipe was in her head. Do not know why they are called latugies, may be just a family slang word for these cookies handed down over the generations. Anyone heard of these called "latugies"?