March 8th, 2011 is Carnevale! Carnevale, is also known as carnival or mardi gras. It is celebrated 40 days before Easter. It’s the final hooray or party before Ash Wednesday and Lent. Because the date of Easter changes yearly, so does the date for Carnevale. This year is fall on March 8th!
Carnevale is one of Italy’s biggest festivals. And although it’s celebrated throughout Italy, Venice is home to the Carnevale Festival that I know and love and have attended many times. People come from near and far to celebrate Carnevale in Venice. There are people dressed in elaborate costumes and masks, there are masquerade balls, music festivals, and food. Lots of food!
One of the specialties of Carnevale is Crostoli. It’s a sweet dough that is flavored with lemon and the secret ingredient: GRAPPA! The dough is rolled and cut into rectangular strips and fried to a golden perfection. They puff up almost immediately upon hitting the hot oil, almost like magic. Then they’re doused in a snow of confectioners sugar. What’s not to love right ; )
If you can’t make it to Venice this year, you can celebrate by making a batch or two of CROSTOLI!