"Fritters" with elderberry flowers, for six persons

Piglia di farina oncie 4, povine fresche tre o di formaggio fresco libbra una, e di formaggio duro libbra mezza grattato, di formaggio salato oncie tre, e tanto levaturo quanto è mezzo uovo; e pista bene ogni cosa nel mortaio. E ponigliuova sei battute seco, e uno bicchiero di latte, e oncie 3 d'acqua rosa; e mescola bene ogni cosa insieme. E se ti paresse che il detto pastume fosse troppo duro, gli aggiungerai un poco di latte, tanto che stia bene, e oncie 3 d'uva passa; e per tempo d'estate gli porrai una oncia di fiore di sambuco a pistare secco. E poi con una gucchiara farai le tue frittelle, grandi e piccole, secondo che ti parerà. Poi le cuocerai in grasso colato o butiro, o dileguito libbre 3. E come saranno cotte, e per imbandirsi, gli ponerai sopra di zucchero grattato oncie quattro. flour
(soft cheese)
cheese for grating
salted cheese
rose water
elderberry flowers
(butter, lard)
Get four ounces of flour, three blocks of ricotta made that very day (or a pound of soft cheese), a pound and a half of grated cheese, three ounces of salted cheese, a quantity of yeast that's as large as half an egg, and crush everything together in the mortar. To this mixture add six beaten eggs, a glass of milk and three ounces of rose water. Blend well. If the mixture is too thick, dilute it with the right amount of milk. Add three ounces of raisins. In summer, you can also add an ounce of elderberry flowers as you crush the ingredients in the mortar. Now, using a spoon, make fritters that are large or small, as you like. Fry them in oil, or butter, or in three pounds of lard. When they are done, sprinkle them with three ounces of powdered sugar before serving.


The word "frittella" (fritter) has an onomatopoeic etymological origin, as does the verb "friggere" (to fry) . These words comes from the "crackling" sound that the oil makes in the pan during frying. In the past (and still true today), fritters were a very common dish and frying was a common method of cooking. It is not hard to find these words mentioned in literary texts: Teofilo Folegno, for example, called them "frittolae" and "fritellae", and Burcheillo referred to "fritelle erbate". Furthermore, many cookbooks contained recipes for fritters, which were often grouped together in a separate chapter (Martino Rossi, Platina, etc.). Fritters could be sweet or salty, and be made with meat or fish, or with fruit or legumes. Or, they could have nothing in them at all, such as Master Martino's "fritters full of wind, which are so inflated they look full and consecrated". This recipe was so monumental that it was even included by Cristoforo Messisbugo in his cookbook.

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