Gnocco fritto (Fried dough parcels)

 

Soft and golden color fried dough, empty inside and characterized by a unique flavor, the gnocco fritto is a typical product of the tradition, one of the most delicious specialties of the Emilian street food spread throughout the region, from Emilia to Romagna and proposed in the festivals, in bars and bakeries around the area.

This special delicacy has different names depending on the area and the slight variations in its preparation: it is called “gnòc frett” in Modena and Reggio-Emilia, “crescentina” in Bologna, “torta fritta” in Parma, “chisulèn” in the province of Piacenza and "pinzino" in Ferrara. Its history is ancient and is believed to date back to the people of the Lombards, that after the Roman Empire conquered these lands. Just among the Lombards, in fact, it had spread the culinary use of lard that is still an indispensable ingredient for the preparation of the gnocco fritto. Far beyond the Lombards, his story continued in Emilia Romagna where, at least until the sixties, the gnocco fritto became a daily food consumed among the peasants. Italian Traditions has selected for you the traditional recipe of Modena!

Ingredients

1 kg of flour

75 g of pork lard

2 teaspoons of salt

Sunflower oil for deep frying

Milk

Sparkling water

Directions

Mix the flour with lard and salt onto a working surface and then add sparkling water, milk and oil that are used to having an homogeneous, smooth and elastic dough. Roll out it with a rolling pin half a centimeter thick, then cut it into squares or diamonds of about 5 centimeters. Fry these squares in a pan with hot oil or pork lard and when they will swell in the middle taking the classic golden color, drain withdrawing them with a slotted spoon and let them dry on paper towels. Serve hot!

Served as a snack, appetizer or a main dish, the Emilian fried dough parcels are irresistible when accompanied with cold cuts and cheeses of the territory, with whom he married in an amazing explosion of flavor.  Those who love the sweet salty combination can also eat it with Nutella.