Carnevale Will Be Over Today | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Farinella(Farinella)

Carnevale will be over today. Celebrated all over the Christian world, Carnevale ends with celebration of Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), rich food, dances and laughs, giving the way to Lent fasting.
In my homeland of Puglia (Italy), Carnevale in Putignano is as famous as Venice Carnevale. For over seven centuries Putignano was a protectorate of the Pope and for about two centuries the town was under the dependence of the Knights of Malta, a very powerful religious organization. Its inhabitants were always into agriculture work, which produced the renowned healthy Puglia’s country food. In addition people of Putignano produced quality hand-made crafts like cotton and felt creations and the most exquisites internationally known wedding gowns. (Click on each photo to view it larger).

Carnevale6

 

Birth(Birth)

In the last fifty years Putignano became known for its Carnival floats. The symbolic costume of Carnevale in Putignano is “Farinella”. The name of Farinella comes from an ancient farmer’s dish made of chickpeas flour and roasted barley mixed with sauces or it accompanies fresh figs. Flour in Italian translates in farina, thus “Farinella” means light flour. The costume even though takes origins from an ancient dish, it is really a fairly new creation, invented in 1953 and it almost looks like its counterpart Neapolitan Pulcinella costume. The figure represents a happy joker dressed in a patched up costume of many colors, it has a blue collar around the neck, hat and shoes with small bells attached. It looks good on kids. Carnevale ends on the Mardi Gras day with the parade of colorful floats more than twenty-two feet tall, hand-made by skillful local artisans, followed by the symbolic funeral of Carnevale represented as a pig.

Putignano-A(Putignano, Puglia – Italy)

ChiacchiereCarnevale(Chiacchiere – Carnevale Cookies)

The typical cookies for this event are Chiacchiere, meaning chitchat, very friable type of cookies that make noise when we eat them and sound as if we are chatting. Chiacchiere cookies are like cherries, one pulls the other and can never have only one. I take my traveling groups to visit the Carnevale Museum in Putignano, open all year. There we can admire the handwork of the artists who invent the characters, or imitate them, as some of the visitors do.

Putignano-MuseoCarnevale

(Happy travelers in my group)

MadWithHat
If you are thinking of going to Puglia, check out my Puglia page: https://valentinaexpressions.com/trips-to-puglia-2/
Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2016 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

MyMaskValentina Cirasola will host one or two trips a year to Italy with the intention of showing Italy with the eyes of a designer born in those parts and let people experience the ”wheel of emotions” they don’t even know exist. She will take her groups to the non-commercial Italy, areas not beaten down by massive tourism. Valentina will guide the tours through art, architecture, fashion, food-wines, shopping and special adventures organized for people who want to live it up! Check out her books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
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Mardi Gras Gluttony | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday is the fattest day of the year that closes all the debauchery of Carnevale and precedes Lent, a time of reflection and repentance. Well, at least is good to know that after Carnevale’s excess eating, we have a second chance to return to normality and ask for forgiveness.

Panzerotti(Photo above: Cristina Cirasola)

What’s boiling in the caldron of gluttony? In the South of Italy, a much sought-after food for Mardi Gras is “Panzerotti” a type of pocket dough filled with anything caloric. Making panzerotti is not that difficult, the dough is the same as pizza, the filling varies. The traditional collection of panzerotti is composed of:

• Ground beef, tomatoes and mozzarella
• Four cheeses and basil leaves
• Anchovies, olives, capers and tomatoes
• Spinach, boil eggs and cheese
• Mushrooms, tomatoes and mozzarella
•Mixed cold cuts, mozzarella and tomatoes
• Mixed vegetables and ricotta
• And many more.

Get creative, but stay within the savory flavors. This is not a sweet pocket for dessert.

Panzerotti must be served hot out of the fryer, it must scald the roof of the mouth and the hands. Only then the cheeses will fuse the ingredients together and the mozzarella will string out a yard away from the mouth, transporting you in the paradise of flavors. Now, I am really talking like a glutton and yes I do enjoy being sinful.


StuffedFilonciniThe same thing can be done with bread dough like the picture above. In fact these two loafs of bread are stuffed with mixed cubed cold cuts, hard-boiled eggs, spinach  and various cheeses.

queenmask(Photo Pacific Art League)

 

March 4th is the last day to indulge on fatty food and a lot of meat. On Ash Wednesday, I will start Lent, as I do every year. For forty days until Easter, I will not eat meat and this year I decided to stay away from bread as well for the entire time. This is my promise to my Supreme Being to embrace some difficulties, not eating bread for me is very hard and to be thankful for my life. This is one promise I will never break.
Are you doing something special for Mardi Gras? Dressing up in costume is appropriate. Ciao,
Valentina
http://www.valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2014 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Dux CoquorumValentina Cirasola has been in business as an interior designer since 1990 improving people’s life by changing their spaces. Most often she designs kitchens and wine grottos; outdoor kitchens and outdoor rooms; great rooms and entertainment rooms. Her deep interest in food led her as an autodidact in the studies of food in history, natural remedies, nutrition and well-being. Finally she wrote two books on Italian regional cuisine and one book on color theory. Get your copy of Valentina’s books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
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Getting Ready For Carnevale | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

MyMask

Photo ©Valentina Cirasola


Carnevale is a special winter celebration that happens forty days before Easter and ends with Mardi Gras. The day after Ash Wednesday is time for repentance for the week or two of festivities with fat food, gluttony, dances, at times debauchery and divertissements of various natures. In some parts of the world like Rio de Janeiro, New Orléans and Italy people work all year round in making elaborate costumes they will wear on Mardi Gras, as Carnevale is a giant party for children and adults. Everybody must wear a mask to hide behind it and be mischievous. The theory behind the mask is that whatever is done under the mask covering the face is not valid and it doesn’t count.

Photo taken by Photographer (?) -Pacific Art League

Viareggio in Tuscany, Putignano in Puglia, Rome, beautiful Amalfi on the Italian Tyrrhenian coast and various other cities in Italy organize large parades with huge floats representing political people and notables of the country, actors and actresses, soccer players and social climbers, all being mocked and ridiculed in their roles. Venice is the most sought after Carnevale celebration of the entire Italian peninsula. The atmosphere is ethereal, the city becomes more magic than usual, private parties resonate from every balcony and public parties in the piazza are like Goldoni’s comedy in the XVII century costumes. The roles are not defined but it seems everybody in the street know the script and play the parts well. Venice is full of legends and real stories, every corner can tell an original one.

Frittelle Dolci with Cherry Marmalade by ©Valentina Cirasola

 

Carnevale is time for fatty food and simple pastries. Depending on the Italian region some of the specialties are frittelle, chiacchiere, cenci, cicerchiata and frappe. It’s OK to eat fried food once a year and these sweets are all fried. Today nobody eats food cook or fried in lard, but a long time ago the original recipes called a good home cured lard.

To keep fried food light and healthy you can either choose to fry with peanut oil that can stand the high temperature or use an Italian fryer equipped with charcoal filter. Food fried this way will take a short time in the oil, will turn out crispy, tender and not greasy. I own one of those Italian frying devices; the house doesn’t even smell like fried food and everything that comes out of there is a real treat.

Other types of fatty food might be the “Casatiello” from Naples, a type of bread stuffed with salami, prosciutto, cheeses and boiled eggs. “Calzone” from Puglia, a type of thin-layered pizza stuffed with grilled leaks, anchovies, sausages and olives. Arancini, rice balls stuffed with mozzarella, prosciutto e peas; Croquettes, potatoes balls stuffed same as the arancini; Pasta Frittata also stuffed with a variety of meats. The variety of  Frittata are countless and endless. “Porchetta”, which is an entire pig roasted over an open spit fire is the delight of Carnevale. Most pubs, restaurants and rosticceria (finger food places) will prepare one.

(Porchetta Photo: https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g187889-d7702817-i128486308-Romolo_s_Messina-Messina_Province_of_Messina_Sicily.html)

Food connoisseurs will not buy a few slices of cold cuts every time they need to make sandwiches, it’s too expensive! To save money, they instead will buy an entire leg of prosciutto and use the D’Artagnan, a ham-carving stand to cut the prosciutto very thin and make it last a very long time. During Carnevale time the D’Artagnan gets a lot of usage.
(Photo right- www.ibericokoning.nl www.patanegrakoni… D’ARTAGNAN

Both of my books offer many colorful opportunities to try these types of food, except that my food is well thought out for today’s modern need to stay healthy, for enjoyment and not for fattening you up.

This year Carnevale 2012 runs from February 11th to the 21st. The day after, Ash Wednesday, in preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter, some people will go on Lent practice for forty days. This means something must be eliminated from the daily nourishment, or if this is not possible for health reasons, some good deeds towards others, the community, or the society is well accepted.

Book: Sins of Queen by ©Valentina Cirasola

Now you have a month to prepare, to find or sew your costume and once you have it, post it on my blog, we can have a contest.

I am delighted to bring you novelties in food and home décor from my Italian culture. Should you need any help, do not hesitate to leave your name in the box below. Ciao,
Valentina
www.Valentinadesigns.com

Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Robert Taitano, a friend and business associate says: “Valentina – an International Professional Interior Designer is now giving you an opportunity to redesign your palate”.
Valentina the author of RED-A Voyage Into Colors, the forthcoming design book on the subject of colors, due to be released soon.
She is also the author of two published regional Italian cuisine books:

http://outskirtspress.com/ComeMiaNonna

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnq8baaAq0M

http://outskirtspress.com/SinsOfAQueen

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