For today’s blog post I chose to talk about one food in particular which makes the 24th of December the most special day in my life: struffoli, the ultimate Neapolitan dessert during Christmas time.
Most of the people, even within Italian borders, would make a frown when hearing the word ‘struffoli’: this dessert, contrary to other pastries belonging to the Neapolitan tradition, hasn’t met the favour of globalisation. This food is indeed intimately linked to domestic rituals and homey cuisine, even though finding it in pastry shops scattered all around the city of Napoli is extremely easy.
No matter how busy we may be, we will always carve out a little time to heat a pan full of cooking oil and deep fry the small balls.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a reliable recipe and every year poses uncertainty to the quality and standard of the struffoli. The fried balls might either be too hard to chew or incredibly soft, but the secret to its success lies not in the consistency of the balls, but in the amount of honey it is covered in. Therefore, if you’ll ever intend to give it a go, just flood your homemade struffoli in honey and enjoy getting sticky, ball by ball!
Being the food gastronomist I am, I very much prefer tasting food, rather than cooking or baking it. Thus, just like every child in Napoli, I impatiently wait for midnight to strike and sink my sweet tooth in honey, getting my hands colourful with all the confetti stuck onto my sticky fingers. No lies when I say the drafting of this post had really tested my gooey tips coming off the past christmasy binge.
I take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, whether you are Christian or not, and to spend a jolly day full of delicious foods and the love of your family.