Calabrian Christmas sweets are really special: spicy and with an intense aroma, they will hardly disappoint you. Here are the ones you should try!
The Christmas period is undoubtedly one of the most heartfelt in southern Italy and when it comes to sweets it is impossible not to think of the Calabrian tradition . Calabrian Christmas sweets cannot leave indifferent and, even if the ingredients used seem to be always the same, the variety of preparations that can be obtained is really wide. After careful research (and several tastings) we have identified the ones that we think you should try. Ready to forget about the diet for a few days?
Typical Calabrian Christmas sweets to try
If you don’t like honey , vincotto and spices, these desserts, unfortunately, are not for you. Yes, because it is really difficult not to find at least one of these ingredients in the recipes of Calabrian Christmas sweets. To these, however, must be added the skill of the housewives, the only ones able to prepare such exquisite desserts.
The first we want to offer you are the turdilli , fried dough balls, passed in honey and decorated with colored sugar sprinkles. Also known as crustuli or pignolata , they are reminiscent of the Neapolitan struffoli .
Staying on the subject of fried desserts, we want to tell you about Calabrian alaci . Perhaps among the least known outside the regional borders, they are prepared with a wine-scented leavened dough that is cut into strips and then fried. While still hot, they are passed in granulated sugar and enjoyed.
Typical of the Gioia del Tauro area, the nacatole can take different shapes depending on the area but the most common is the donut. The dough, made from flour, eggs, oil and milk, has an intense aroma of anise and is first fried and then passed in sugar. Traditionally, the nacatole are prepared a week before Christmas and then served together with sweet wines typical of the area.
We are now moving to Reggio Calabria to discover the Petral recipe. These sweet shortcrust pastry ravioli are stuffed with dried and candied fruit, cooked wine and cocoa and then fried. They take different names according to the area: on the Ionian they are called sammartini while in the Grecanica area they are called pretali .
Nuts, almonds, pine nuts, raisins, dried figs and honey are the characteristic filling of pitta, a typical cake of Cosenza. Depending on the shape, a distinction is made between pitta ‘nchiusa , if the roll is closed, or pitta’ mpigliata if it is cut lengthwise to show the filling.
Last but certainly not least are the susumelle , the dessert that most of all unites the Calabrian tradition in terms of Christmas recipes. They are found in both oval and rhombus shapes and have an intense spicy flavor made even more delicious by the chocolate-based coating of the biscuit.
And what other recipes do you know?
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