by Claudia, age: 12 years
In Italy, there is a fun period known as il Carnevale. It is a time when people dress up in fancy costumes and there are street parades and parties. Tutti si divertono! - Everyone has a great time!
Il Carnevale is the period just before la Quaresima - Lent.
The final day of Carnevale is il Martedì Grasso - Shrove Tuesday.
During il Carnevale it is the tradition to eat le frittelle. These are long, thin fritters and they taste a bit like doughnuts. Mia nonna (my grandma) makes fantastic frittelle. In the days of Carnevale, everyone goes to her house because they know that there will be a continuous supply of frittelle deliziose.
I always watch mia nonna when she makes le frittelle. It is amazing to see how she pours the liquid mixture through a funnel into a frying pan and then winds it round and round into a spiral-shaped fritter.
The bigger the frying pan (la padella) the bigger the fritter!
Normally, when the fritter is cooked, she sprinkles it with lo zucchero - sugar - and cuts the big spiral shape into pieces. Mia nonna calls the whole fritter una ruota, meaning 'a wheel.'
The children in my family prefer to have a whole 'wheel' to themselves! We carry le nostre ruote - our wheels - around, and try to eat them without any pieces breaking.
Another type of fritter that is prepared during Carnevale is called le chiacchiere - meaning 'the pieces of gossip'. These fritters are dusted in lo zucchero a velo - icing sugar.
A traditional dessert for il Carnevale is il sanguinaccio dolce. It is a creamy chocolate pudding that was originally prepared with pig's blood! The word sangue - blood - is hidden in the word sangu