The Carnival season is known as Carnevale in Italy. This time before Lent is filled with parties, masquerades with elaborate masks and costumes, parades, music, and food. It popular throughout Italy and especially in Venice, with festivities lasting for the two weeks leading to Martedi Grasso, Shrove Tuesday.
Chiacchiere (literal translation: “little gossips”) are thin fried pastries common in Italy during Carnevale. They are called Chiacchiere due to the noise and crunch made while eating the crisp dough. While they go by this name in Sicily, they are known as many others based on the region in Italy, including Cenci and Donzelle in Tuscany, Chiacchiere and Lattughe in Lombardy, Bugie in Liguria, Galani and Crostoli in Veneto, Frappe in Rome, and Sfrappole in Emilia Romagna.
Roll the dough as thinly as possible so they have that crunch when you bite into them. I heated the oil over medium heat, then adjusted as needed to keep the dough from getting too dark between medium and medium low.
I used a fluted pastry wheel to cut out the dough. You can also use a pizza cutter. It just won’t create the detailed edges.
Chiacchiere can have a few different formations. I cut all the dough into about 2 x 4 inch strips. Some are fried just as the strips. I cut 1 or 2 lines in the center of all my strips, leaving about 1/2 inch at the ends. I have also seen Chiacchiere with the dough twisted from these lines or even with strips tied into knots. You can also drizzle them with chocolate after topping with powdered sugar- my personal favorite.