Cenci, the traditional pastries of Carnival
Cenci are one of the typical sweets of Carnival of Italy. Along with the tradition of wearing costumes and participate in a parade throughout the region, as the Carnevale di Viareggio, Carnival means also delicious food.
I remember that, when I was a child, my grandmother used to prepare Cenci and rice fritters during the days of Carnival. It was hard to say which is the best for me, I was in love with both of them.
When she was making Cenci, I used to help her prepare all ingredients. I was having fun mixing them, feeling my hands stuck in the dough. But the thing I liked the most was using the pastry wheel to cut the dough creating different shapes to fry.
Cenci and its many names
In some parts of Tuscany, they are called Cenci or Stracci, which literally mean “rags”, due to its casual shape. But they are also known as Chiacchere (literally Chit-Chats) in the northern part of the region and in Milan. In other regions of Italy, people call them Crostoli, Frappe, Sfrappole or Bugie.
Whatever you call them, you will love this crispy tasty pastry. Once you start to eat them, you won’t be able to stop since you empty the tray.
Let’s celebrate Carnival and the Mardi Gras preparing these stripes of delicious sweet crisp pastries, following the “easy to make” recipe that my grandmother taught to me.