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Cauciuni Calcioni
Calcione, Calcioni, Caveciuni, Calciuni, Cauciuni (Christmas fritters, Italian chickpea cookies using honey and orange zest)
Originated from: Guardialfiera, Campobasso, Molise
Occasion: Christmas
Contributed by: Rita Palazzo (her mother's recipe)

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Calcione, cacioni, caciu, Calcioni, caveciune, caveciuni, cauciune, cauciuni, cauciun', calciume, calciumi, calciune, calciuni, calciuni, caucione, caucioni, caucine, caucini, cavazune and cavazuni*

Pastry dough

1 kilo of flour
3 egg yolks
1.5 cups of white wine
1 teaspoon of sugar
4 grams of oil


1 kilo of cooked chick peas passed through a strainer
250 grams of honey
A bit of cinnamon
Zest of 1 orange

*Spellings for this fritter vary from town to town in Molise, depending on the local dialect. The recipe can be known as caveciune, cauciuni, calcioni, calciumi, calciuni, caucioni and/or who knows what else? However, the official spelling for this style of Molisan treat on the world-wide web is (Well, seems to be): "Calcione" (singular form) and "calcioni" (plural form). In other parts of Italy this style of fritter is sometimes known as "ravioli di San Giuseppe" as well as "ravioli dolce," "sweet ravioli." N.B. In present-day Italy, "Calcioni Molisani" often refers to unsweetened ricotta-stuffed fritters rather than chickpea-stuffed sweet fritters. However, prior to World War II, most people living in the Molisan countryside thought of "calconi" as sweet fritters made with chickpeas. Those Italians (and their children) who immigrated to North America in the 1950s still think of "calcioni" as pastries stuffed with chickpeas rather than with ricotta and/or chestnuts.


Mix the ingredients and work into a fine dough.

Cut the dough and pass through the pasta machine.

Make thin strips about 4 inches wide.

Put the filling on each strip of rolled dough (one teaspoon of filling 1 inch apart).

Cover filling by rolling the dough over it.

Cut each in a half moon shape.

Fry in very hot oil.


Rita Palazzo made the cauciuni [sometimes spelled as "calcioni" or "calciumi" or "cauciuni"] and Mary Melfi had both the pleasure of eating them (Were exceptionally good!) and photographing them.

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