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What Italian Carnival Sweets to Eat

February 4th, 2020 by Prontopia

Italy cuisine carries with it centuries of tradition. And when it comes to festivities, these traditions are even more prominent! Carnival in Italy is one of those traditions.

If you're wondering what Italian carnival sweets to eat, we can find out together!

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Chiacchiere, Frappe, Galani, Bugie, Cenci...

These sweets are popular throughout Italy with different names. They are crispy strips of light, fried dough. For chocolate lovers, they can be dipped in chocolate to give them an extra pop.

These pastries differ in name depending on the region (they could be any of the names above, or more), but their ingredients are always the same: flour, butter, sugar friend in vegetable oil. They look like long puffy biscuits, with a light, crumbley texture. You'll recognize them by their honeyed color and the sprinkling of icing sugar on top.

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Eggs, sugar, flour and butter are Castagnole's main ingredients. They are very common in Italy in this time of the year. Castagnole are shaped into little balls topped with icing, and sometimes they can be filled with chocolate or cream.

Frittelle o Fritoe Veneziane

The most iconic and popular Venetian Carnival sweet: frittelle! These are small fried pancakes that almost look like Castagnole, but bigger and softer.

The traditional Venetian recipe of the fritoe includes the use of raisins inside the dough, which is peculiar and differentiates Venetian frittelle from all others. Generally, they can be plain or filled with cream or chocolate.

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Zeppole or Graffe

Made with potato flour, Zeppole or Graffe are soft donut-shaped cake, fried on the spot and covered in sugar. They are unique to the Salerno and Naples area. If you are lucky enough, you might even find some Zeppole filled with creams, like hazelnut, white chocolate, dark chocolate, double chocolate, lemon, pistachio...

A social ritual as important as the post-midnight dinner coffee, as the Neapolitan habit goes.


Migliaccio is a cake typical of Naples and its surrounding areas. It is made on Mardi Gras with wheat middlings, milk, vanilla, butter, eggs, sugar, lemon, and ricotta cheese.

The trick to make the best Migliaccio is to use high-quality ricotta. As we all know, Campania region and the Neapolitan area are famous for the quality of dairy products.

We highly recommend trying it once you're in Naples or nearby areas.

Schiacciata Fiorentina

Schiacciata is another popular cake, specifically a Tuscan dessert, typical of the Carnival period, usually tasted during Shrove Tuesday. Each Florentine family proudly guards its recipe, handed down from generation to generation. All the pastry shops in this period show the symbol of the city in their windows: the Florentine lily, which is used as a decoration to this dessert.

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The ancient version involved the use of brewer's yeast, a double leavening and the addition of lard. Today the recipe has developed to match modern tastes, and to flavor and give it the classic color, zest and orange juice are used. Many also add a pinch of saffron which releases a more decisive hue and flavor to the cake.

Now you know Italian Most Delicious Carnival Sweet Eats, but if you wish to find the best pastry shops or discover more about today's Carnival traditions in Italy, get in-person help from Prontopia!

©Photo Credits: Photos by Prontopia; Photo by Ssolbergj


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