My first chiacchiere

This past week has been Carnevale time in Italy, although here on the Amalfi Coast it is not nearly as elaborate of an affair as the famous Carnevale celebrations in Venice. But this time of year, I find I often have that lovely city on the mind. Michelle Fabio, of the fabulous blog Bleeding Espresso, wrote a nice article on the history of Carnevale in Venice at Italy magazine. This week she also treated us to a recipe for a traditional Carnevale pastry called chiacchiere in her What’s Cooking Wednesday post. Michelle does a great job of explaining the tradition and unusual name of these tasty Carnevale treats. I couldn’t resist trying to make them! I had company coming for Sunday lunch, and first thing Sunday morning I was in the kitchen making my first attempt at chiacchiere. (I must thank Michelle again for the tips on buying baking powder here in Italy. Always something new to learn!) It was fun, and they were a big hit! I will certainly make these every year for Carnevale now. Click on over and take a look. You have one more day until Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday), so now is the time to make chiacchiere!

On the Amalfi Coast, celebrations for Carnevale generally take place on the few days leading up to and on Martedì Grasso. Last year I was caught off guard (and without camera) at the celebrations in Amalfi, but they consisted of two rather strange and loud floats and a parade. Here are a couple of videos I found online showing the general wackiness and fun of Carnevale on the Amalfi Coast…

Positano 2008:

(Yes, I think those were Smurfs.)

Maiori 2007:

From what I have heard, Maiori has the biggest Carnevale celebration of the cities along the coast, and that video does a nice job of capturing it in photos. Tomorrow I will be with family, and I am not sure I will be able to catch any of the celebrations in the area. But for me, it is a day to be with family and enjoy a good meal together, which will traditionally include lasagna (yum!) and, of course, more chiacchiere (yum yum!). Buon Carnevale to everyone!

4 Comments
  • Chef Chuck

    Ciao Laura, We are thinking similar on the recipes! Yours looks great. I think the carnevale seems fun and zany!!

    February 24, 2009
  • Leanne in Italy

    Impressive that you made the pastry things. My grandmother always makes them, but in her village they used to put a drizzle of honey on them too if they had it, rather then just the icing sugar.

    February 24, 2009
  • michelle | bleeding espresso

    Woohoo! Glad they were a hit Laura! Buon Carnevale 🙂

    February 24, 2009
  • Laura

    Ciao Chuck! Zany is definitely the right word to describe Carnevale here. It is more like Halloween in the States than what you might think of as Carnevale. People dress up in all sorts of crazy costumes and eat way too many sweets!

    Ciao Leanne! It was one of my first baking adventures since I am generally not much of a baker. But we discovered by chance over lunch on Sunday how good the chiacchere are with honey. Your grandmother was right on!

    February 25, 2009

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