Fritole de Carneval or gnocchi?
Who does not know whether to choose fritole or gnocchi at carnival can celebrate the Carnival in Verona. The Veronese Carnival has origins in the late Middle Ages and is one of the oldest in Italy.
FIRST HYPOTHESIS ON THE CARNIVAL ORIGINS
In the Middle Ages the Bacanal del Gnoco (also called the Festa dell’Abbondanza) assumed great importance and became the main Veronese manifestation. According to the popular tradition, the founder was Tomaso Da Vico, a doctor who in the sixteenth century arranged in his will that every year food was distributed to the inhabitants of the district of San Zeno.
In his “Istoria di Verona” the writer Dalla Corte tells us that in 1531 a terrible famine raged in the city. On June the 18th , a crowd in San Zeno ran tumultuously in the square and attacked the ovens, making loot with bread and wheat. The danger of revolt was averted by the timely action of some citizens, who at their own expense provided food to the district poorest inhabitants . Among them, the physician Tomaso Da Vico perpetuated the initiative, placing in his will that every year the bread, wine, butter, flour and cheese were distributed to the “sanzenati” the San Zeno people .
Photo papà del gnocco
Giambattista Da Persico, on the other hand, believes that THE FESTIVAL OF FRIDAY GNOCOLAR (formerly called the Friday Casolar) dates back to 1405, with the entry of the city into the Serenissima Republic. On the return of the ambassadors, the Carroccio was taken out of the Abbey of San Zeno after two centuries, and carried in procession with the insignia of San Marco obtained as a gift from the Doge. The triumphal chariot of San Zeno (or Carro dell’Abbondanza) is “an image of that carroccio, the flag of paper an allusion to the banner, and the putti the 40 ambassadors”. Given then the great famine that struck Verona in 1406, we can assume that the new government wanted to win over the people by setting up a Feast of Abundance with “editions of edible and the use of those furnishings, with which a few months before were in triumph carry the insignia of the new domain “
THE “FRITOLE DE CARNEVAL ”
In the eighteenth century they were proclaimed “Sweet National of the Veneto State” and in 1755 they were mentioned in the famous comedy “Il campiello” by Carlo Goldoni (in which Orsola, one of the protagonists, performs the profession of “frittolera”). As then, even today, the Carneval Fritole maintain a deep-rooted popularity, continuing to be prepared, as well as in confectionery, even in the homes of many Venetian families. The veronese fritole differ slightly from the Venetian cousins for the use of grappa instead of rum and for the presence of apples, which embellish the delicate flavor.
Moment of great celebration for the Veronese people the Carnival so much that the canteens were invaded of sweets and merriment. And it is true joy that brought by the pancakes, the sweet “fritole”, which already the corporation of the bakers, towards the second half of the fourteenth century, offered for their Carnival to its customers (certainly the most welthy ). The semantics of the dialect word of fritelle “fritole”, it means that they were “frite”, made fry, originally on pork fat, because the oil was little known.
INGREDIENTS (ABOUT ONE KG OF FRIES)
150 grams of sugar
3 fresh eggs; 150 grams of sultanas
two apples; a grated lemon peel
two glasses of milk; a glass of brandy
20 grams of brewer’s yeast; a pinch of salt
seed oil for frying;
Soak the sultanas (also called raisins passes) with a glass of warm milk for about fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, peel the apples and cut into small pieces. In a bowl mix the flour with the eggs, the sugar and a glass of milk; add a pinch of salt, raisins, shredded apples, grappa and the grated rind of a lemon.
Using a wooden spoon, mix everything until a homogeneous mixture is obtained.
Melt the yeast in half a glass of lukewarm water and add it to the mixture.
After mixing again, let it rise for about twenty minutes in a warm place without blows. In a pan, pour plenty of fry seed oil and bring it to a boiling temperature; pour 4/5 tablespoons of the dough and let the pancakes cook floating in the oil.
When the side dipped in oil has reached a beautiful dark gold color, turn them helping with a ladle.
After cooking on both sides, drain the pancakes and place them on some sheets of absorbent kitchen paper.
Repeat the cooking with the rest of the dough, always taking care not to overfill the pan. Serve still warm with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and a bottle of white Recioto wine from Valpolicella or Soave or Spumante Lessini Durello.
The election of Papà del Gnoco (the official mask of the Verona Carnival) opens the festivities, but the peak of the festival takes place on Fridays with the parade of carts along the streets of the city. The Gnoco Dad is elected every year after a real electoral campaign that long commits the fans. The character is represented as a bearded old man wearing a singular white costume, on which red fabric scraps are sewn. In the right hand grip a fork into which a huge dumpling is inserted. The following is the Macaroni, who were his supporters in the electoral campaign. The Gnoco Dad presides over the large distribution of dumplings to the population. Other traditional figures are also part of the Carnival, such as the Bacchus, a sort of burlesque counterpart of the central figure of the Gnoco Dad, who probably gave the whole ceremony its name (Bacanal del Gnoco). Since the 16th century the Verona Carnival has become a way of revisiting this historical event and distributing free food to the people in the form of gnocchi. The Fat Friday is called gnocolar Friday and the Bacanal del Gnoco takes place where, among music, carts and masks, gnocchi are eaten at will, prepared according to the Veronese tradition.
CARNIVAL GNOCCHI RECIPE
Boil the potatoes and reduce them to mashed potatoes, then knead with flour, eggs and salt. Carefully work the dough, which must be soft and soft, with the foresight to sprinkle the work surface with a little flour to prevent the dough from adhering to it. We can then forme small loaves of dough as high as a large finger, cut it into many pieces of about 3 cm long, which with a quick movement of the hand should be slipped on the inverse part of the grater from the bottom up, pressing lightly; the dumpling will thus acquire the characteristic processing useful to make the sauce on the surface adhere in the best way. They are poured into a saucepan of water with boiling salt and fished with a colander as they rise to the surface.
The dressing is to taste: melted butter and Parmesan, tomato and Parmesan cheese, melted gorgonzola or the tasty horsemeat sauce macerated long in wine, the so-called “pastissada de caval”.