Delicious Salento Carnival delicacie
Carnival’s here early in 2018 and will all be over fast, too, 13 February is Mardi Gras – or Fat Tuesday – but it’s going to be no less fun than usual. Shorter, maybe, but perhaps that’ll make it even more intense and exciting. From 8th-13th February your holiday will take on a decidedly different flavour. As ever, Salento really pushes the boat out for this traditional annual festival. Perhaps uniquely, it still hangs on its folklore and pagan character, just as it’s been since the beginning.
During Carnival you can be who you want and mock the powerful and the bad with impunity. It’s a time when the lion becomes a gazelle, and a sheep, its shepherd. Kids are probably the ones who have the most fun, in their fancy dress but adults, too, can be seen walking through the streets in the most bizarre outfits, or rattling tambourines as they sing funny and often bawdy ditties.
There are puppets and string marionettes, allegorical and satirical floats, and cheeky and gargantuan masks everywhere: Carnival in Salento is nothing if not really good fun! The most impressive Carnival south of Lecce takes place in Gallipoli, but in other places, including Castrignano del Capo, there’s no shortage of imagination or festive events either.
We say that during Carnival jokes are the order of the day, and this goes for food, too, with lots of fun things to eat all designed to put a smile on your lips.
For true joy for the tastebuds and for the eyes, look no further than the irresistible sugary delights, Carnival ‘chiacchiere’ – ‘chit chat’ biscuits. These are strips of flour and water dough given zigzag edges, and then deep fried. They curl into lovely shapes and are served drenched in with icing sugar. Who knows how they got their name? Perhaps it’s got something to do with the wide variety of shapes they make when they’re fried. We’ll leave you the pleasure of finding out why.
But it’s pretty clear how our apostle’s finger, or priest’s finger cakes got their name, even if meant ironically. They’re so good, they’re almost …. divine! These are sweet cannelloni pastry tubes filled with ricotta cheese and almonds. There are lots of other fillings, too: chocolate or vanilla, and why not, pistachio too!
Our Carnival ‘fucazza’, on the other hand, is a kind of savoury tart – carnival style, by that we mean somewhat full of surprises. Inside, is a pork-based filling, with grated Lecce pecorino cheese, mozzarella and tomato. It mightn’t look much like it, but fucazza is actually a real delicacy! In short, the Salento Carnival is everything you’ve ever wanted in a carnival, and you certainly won’t go home … hungry!
As always, Montiró Hotel will be here to provide much deserved relaxation after so much fun, situated right in the heart of the tranquil, green Capo di Leuca countryside, as we are.