I just found a picture of myself when I was a kid and I was dressed up as a Spanish flamenco dancer for the Carnival festival, looking at it filled me with such a longing!!! The Carnival reminds me of the aroma of the “Cenci” a typical Tuscan dessert that my mother used to fry. My father instead made the rice fritters, typical of central Italy and the apple fritters typical of northern Italy. And what about you? What do you like to do for Carnival? Here is the recipe for apple fritters, delicious, which I prefer to prepare without eggs because they absorb less oil. I serve them with a ginger and maple syrup as my friend and colleague Rosanna Passione taught me how to do.
Then Easter arrives and we quickly forget the happiness of fritters.
In Tuscany, but perhaps also throughout Italy, Easter cakes are very simple desserts perhaps to line themselves with the religious spirit that was breathed during Lent with its fasts and its florets.Are you familiar with the smell of the warm Pan di Ramerino when you walk along the street? It's one of my favorite aromas: sweet as the sultanas, pungent as the rosemary. Pan di Ramerino, typical of the area of Florence (of which you find the recipe of my legendary friend Paola) that traditionally was done for Holy Thursday.
There are simple and hearty sweet breads as the Easter “schiacciata” with a touch of aniseed, so called because in the recipe there are many beaten eggs inside or "crushed- schiacciate" as the Tuscans said. Infact during Lent we couldn't eat eggs and so when Easter arrived we had plenty of them.
Renata, my mother, did not like to cook ... it was a waste of time for her, but sometimes out of love for her family, especially because we loved cake, she made exceptions and she cooked the typical regional Easter dessert; our favorite was and still is the “pastiera Napoletana”.