A Taste of Sweet Italian Frittelle Doughnuts

Dough made with flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water, filled with raisins, pine-nuts or cream and dusted in granulated sugar, these Venetian delights are Italian donuts. They are a traditional sweet found at the Venice Carnival.  The 14th century claims the very first recipe of frittelle which can be found at the Biblioteca Nazionale Canatense of Rome where it is preserved. These sweet frittelle were the most well-known, national sweets of the Venetian state (Serenissima Republic), so much so that during the 17th century an association was formed consisting of 70 people, who were known as fritoleri who exclusively produced frittelle (Elisabetta, 2017). Each one was in charge of producing and selling the sweet in a particular area within Venice. They would pass the secret recipe down to their sons. At the end of 19th century, the fritoleri association had disappeared as cafes began to introduce new appealing ways in which sweets could be accessed and enjoyed (Elisabetta, 2017).

Frittelle were traditionally displayed on decorated tin plates, however, nowadays they are sprinkled with sugar and enjoyed immediately. Frittelle can be made in various ways, with the addition of different fillings, custom to personal taste and place of residence, for example, as aforementioned, with the traditional fillings of raisins, or cream or otherwise with jam or Nutella filled which are variations that Australians and Melbournians have adapted.

These donuts are a testament to show that recipes of traditional dishes were produced by particular qualified people and passed down through relatives. However, recipes are now accessible to anyone, thus can be produced and modified in any way, hence the enormous variations in frittelle recipes.


Elisabetta. (2017, January 29). The frittelle, Venice carnival traditional food [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://www.luxrest-venice.com/en/blog/201701/frittelle_venice_carnival_traditional_food

Dieta Mediterranea. (2017, February 7). Fritole – Frittelle – are a Carnival sweet [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://dietamediterranea.biz/fritole-frittelle-are-a-carnival-sweet/

Featured Image:

Christina. (2013, December 23). Frittelle: Traditional Italian Christmas Eve Doughnuts [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: http://christinascucina.com/2013/12/zeppole-traditional-italian-christmas.html  






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