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Taste the Venice Carnival specialty: the “frittelle”

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. The name Shrove comes from the old middle English word ‘Shriven’ meaning to go to confession to say sorry for the wrong things you’ve done. Lent always starts on a Wednesday, so people went to confessions on the day before. This became known as Shriven Tuesday and then Shrove Tuesday.

In other countries, like Italy, Shrove Tuesday is known as ‘Martedì Grasso’, This means ‘Fat Tuesday’ in Italian and also comes from the idea of using up food before Lent.

Many countries round the world have ‘Martedì Grasso’ celebrations and carnivals. Some of the most famous are in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, New Orleans in the U.S.A., and Venice in Italy.

One of the most exquisite, unique and typical Venice Carnival specialty is the home made ‘frittella’ (‘fritoleri’ in Venetian dialect) that you can find in every coffee and pastry shops of the city. These ‘frittelle’are one of the symbol of the Venetian Carnival.

Here you have the traditional recipe to make your own traditional sweets…

Ingredients for 4 people:

12 g of beer yeast

200 g of flour

40 g of raisans

40 g of pinoli nuts

40 g di candied fruits

ca. 350 g of seed oil

40 g of sugar

16 g of icing sugar

ca. 0,5 of grappa or rum


Dissolve yeast with a little warm water and sugar. Add grappa and then flour adding water when needed. Mix well until there are no air bubbles on the surface. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place. When the mix has doubled in size, add raisans, candied fruits and pinoli. Heat oil and cook draining each doughnut on paper towels. Arrange in a pyramid form and sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve hot and enjoy your “frittelle”.

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