We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More from today.... FRITELLE's

As I walked home from the Befana race, my route took me from the Rialto through San Polo. Because Venice was not particularly crowded today, I took a "main street", something I rarely do, but today, I was suitably rewarded... I spotted a sign on the window of Pasticceria Rizzardini announcing Fritelle Veneziana. Now, if you have ever been to Venice before and have found this heavenly spot, you know, as I do, that it is near impossible to resist going in here on a normal day. But today.... oh sweet Jesus, Fritelle have arrived! I was IN!!!

The topic of my blog today is Fritelle's, but I must give a shameless plug for Pasticceria Rizzardini. You can find them at Campiello dei Meloni, in San Polo. They've been there since 1742. Here's their front window today:

And this is their side window. See why I try to avoid walking by here most days???

But back to Fritelle's.....

Fritelle are, oh my, how do I begin to describe them?? Fluffy little pillows of the most wonderful taste you can imagine? They are sort of donut, sort of fry bread, very close to Zeppoli's. If you are an Italian kid who grew up in New Jersey, you know Zeppoli's. These little buggers are a few steps above Zeppoli's.
Sadly for me, Fritelle are a Venetian tradition that only make their appearance in the bakeries during Carnevale, or a little before it. And they disappear about a week after Carnevale is over. They are made plain, or stuffed with an assortment of fillings, along with raisins and pine nuts. In the photo above, from right to left, are Veneziana (no filling), Zabaigone, and Crema. My personal favorite, not available today, is Ricotta. What fillings are available depend upon which bakery you go to.

Here's a shot of the inside of my Zabagione filled one, just before being devoured. I have saved another for after dinner. Sweets are my weakness, always have been. I admit it. My friend Vicki has decided that what we really need is a dessert calendar, not a monthly calendar. Mine would be something like this ... Panettone (end of November to beginning of January), Fritelle (end of January to mid Feb), Columbina and Casata Siciliana (Easter season), and then gelato and scroppino from May to October.

Fritelle are out a little early this year, I wasn't expecting them until end of the month. Panettone are just about finished up for the season, in fact I was just lamenting that I probably had my last one this week. So....what a great surprise today!

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