Carnevale in Umbria: Struffoli, Cicerchie… and More
Week-end ballroom dancing, kaleidoscope parades of floats topped with costumed and masked ebullient children and adults – and myriads of enticing sweets – tell you Carnevale (Mardi Gras) has arrived in Italy,
Week-end ballroom dancing
Enjoy the photos of carri allegorici
..and what sweets!
Every pasticceria offers the most traditional Carnevale sweets: castagnole, brighelle, zeppole, and frappe’.
Frappe’ and zeppole
Frappe’ drizzled with alchermes
And yet, each pasticceria also adds its own creations to the Carnevale litany. I usually enjoy a morning espresso with a castagnola at Assisi’s Pasticceria/Bar Sensi but I stopped at Bar Barbarossa in Bastia Umbra this morning – and their own Carnevale creations were in the glass display case: huge castagnole, called “struffoli,” some dipped in the red alchermes liqueur, others in honey, and Nutella-topped cookies in the shape of Carnevale masks (others made with the red alchermes liqueur). Near the cookie masks, small cookies were topped with sprinkles reminiscent of the confetti flung off the floats. There were cicerchie, too: tiny round balls of dough, fried and then mounded together, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with “confetti.”
There was even a cake, topped with a mask and decorated with colorful frosting bows and ribbons.
Cookies in the shape of Carnevale masks
Confetti-sprinkled cookies and masks
Small cookies with sprinkles like confetti
Near the alchermes-doused frappe’, a Carnevale cake
I had just half of a huge struffolo with my espresso – they wrapped up the other half “per Pino.”
As I left, a man was ordering a tray of treats to take back to his office staff. Carnevale is celebrated everywhere these days…