Chiacchiere: The Most Popular Carnival Sweet in Italy – By Valentina Coppola

Chiacchiere, a word which literally translates as ‘chatter or gossip’, are the most popular Carnival sweets in Italy. Their name changes slightly from region to region; for example in Tuscany and in Liguria they are known as ‘bugie’. They are usually served with “sanguinaccio”, which is a sweet cream made with dark chocolate, and they are recognized as traditional food of Basilicata in central Italy.

The history of these sweets is interesting. During the Renaissance, the week preceding Ash Wednesday was called “grasso”, meaning “fat”, because the festive banquets organized during this period were abundant and full of rich dishes such as fried sweets.

The recipe for chiacchiere contains a little alcohol and the amount and type of alcohol used also changes depending on region. In the South, they use Marsala, while in northern Italy they use Grappa.

Sanguinaccio’s name originated from the ancient use of fresh pigs’ blood in the making of it which provided its characteristic taste. But in some Italian regions, the public sale of pigs’ blood was banned in 1992. Now, Italians prepare sanguinaccio with chocolate.

Here are the recipes of these tasty and delicious sweets: Continue reading “Chiacchiere: The Most Popular Carnival Sweet in Italy – By Valentina Coppola”