The Italian culture gives us such special treats, especially Holidays were always a wonderful time to display magnificent culinary artistry. I remember my BFF including me in all the festive creations. Desserts are regional specialties in Italy, and Calabria (my BFF ancestral birth place) is certainly rich in heritage (which of course includes food).
I learned the proverbial “Mangiare”, and with “Grandma” tending the garden, we had lots of fun with our school girl pranks. Giggling non-stop, when Grandma said “girls, no pes la plants!” “Calpestare” in Italian means “to step.”
There were so many fun, delicious moments, and food, that I feel blessed to have experienced them. Albeit, I had to put my French infatuations aside, while I apprenticed. Yes, I dare say I was the “enfant terrible” of “la cucina Italiana”!
Desserts were home-made, from dough to fillings, to the picking of fresh seasonings from the garden. Certainly, “fresh” was the big word for all recipes, almost as uniquely huge as “organic” is today.
“Le Chiacchiere” made during Christmas, and Easter. These strips of finely rolled dough once fried, were cooled, and dipped in honey; sprinkles were laden on this seemingly innocent dessert. The fact being that Chiacchiere were definitely addicting, and I still challenge anyone to eat just one!
There are variations of Chiacchiere, and powdered sugar is sometimes used in place of honey and sprinkles. Which ever you choose, it’s absolutely deliciozo! Once you make Le Chiacchiere, your family will ask for this treat again, and certainly have very fond memories created around old world traditions from “Puglia”, also known as Calabria. Once my door was open to “la cucina Italiana”, I was eager to taste more!
In my neighborhood, Italian was second nature, so anything that said “Italian Pastry” was in my compass! With my curiosity in full gear, “Cannolis” could not be far off.
I decided that “Cannoli” was much like a gondola shape. The fact is that the Cannoli shape, reminds me of a small canoe, except full of delectable cream!
Certainly, Canoli has variety of ways of being made, from the filling, to dipping the shells in chocolate! A scrumptious dessert with coffee or tea, definitely meant to have friends, and family stay a little longer.
Thinking of Southern Italy, Ice Cream comes to mind. The blue waters of Calabria, and Sicily, demand a cool dessert to comfort the palette: Tartufo!
Cool, delectable dessert made of vanilla ice cream, and doused in cocoa (chocolate) that aptly describes Tartufo!
I hope this introduction, or continuation, of Italian Desserts a la De Le Desserts, is a turn on! Italian Cuisine is a wonderful adventure, each taste as authentic as the landscape, people, and cities that make up beautiful traditions.
Sharing recipes, food, and desserts from the ancestral home of friends, will always have a place on my table, and in my heart!
You will feel as lucky as I do, Mangiare!!
I-Italy.org European Parliament Calabria
- Bar gelateria Ercole, Pizzo, Calabria (tabitabiz.wordpress.com)
- Ice Cream: The Perfect, Elegant Dessert for Busy Hosts (thekitchn.com)
- Italy on a Plate – Week in Italian Food: May 13, 2012 (foodloversodyssey.typepad.com)
- Just Desserts (patmarcantel.com)
- T Magazine: Ciao Down (tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com)