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X X List of Traditional Foods from Molise
Cuicina Molisana -- New Year's -- Desserts -- List
Originated from: Molise, Italy
Occasion: Christmas Day and New Year's Day
Contributed by: Image courtesy of The New York Public Library, Digital Gallery #1588148

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Traditional New Year's Desserts from Molise

o Calcioni [also spelled Caucini, calciumi, calciuni, caucioni or caveciune] a variety of pastry pocket-style sweets filled with chickpeas, cheese and other ingredients, generally made for The Feast Day of St. Joseph, but in some households were also made for the Christmas holidays [For recipes see category "Calconi"]

o Cancelle [sometimes spelled cangelle], thin waffle-like cookies, also known as osti and pizzelle [For recipe see "Cookies without Nuts"]

o Caragnole [singular], "caragnoli" [plural], [dialect] "caranjele"), bow-shaped or rose wheel-shaped pastry strips, Christmas and Carnival fritters -- bow-shaped or rose wheel-shaped pastry strips, Christmas and Carnival fritters................ Italian Wikipedia describes caragnoli as: "I caragnoli insieme alle rosacatarre, sono dolci tipici del basso Molise, preparati per le festivit? Natalizie e per Carnevale il cui impasto a base di farina, uova ed olio viene avvolto a forma di elica e fritto, quindi ricoperto di miele." [Machine translation, Google] I caragnoli along with rosacatarre, are typical of the low Molise, prepared for the festive Christmas and Carnival, whose dough made of flour, eggs and oil is wrapped in the shape of a helix and fried, then covered with honey.... [For recipe see "Italy/Revisited/Fritters"]

o Caveciune [also spelled Caucini, calciumi, calciuni, caucioni or caveciune] a variety of pastry pocket-style sweets filled with chickpeas, cheese and other ingredients [For recipes see category "Calconi"

o Cicerchiata, dough balls, dipped in honey, without yeast, Christmas fritters [For recipe see "Fritters"

o Mostaccioli, almond cookies made with honey, generally made for weddings but in some areas they were also made for the Christmas holidays [For recipe see "Cookies with Nuts"]

o Riso con il latte, rice pudding traditionally made for Christmas Eve, St. Joseph Eve and Good Friday

o Rosacatarle (Rosacatarre, rosacatarele), Christmas sweets dipped in honey [Italian Wikipedia]

o Scarulelle, rose-wheeled shaped fritters made in Santa Croce, Molise, identical to "caragnole" [For recipe see "Fritters"]

o Screppelle, Scrippelle or Scrapelle [also known as "le scr'ppell' natalizie" ], long columns of fried dough [For recipe see "Fritters"]

o Sugar-glazed and/or honey-glazed almonds [For recipe see "Cookies with Nuts"]



Apparently, prior to World War II, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day were not considered to be important festive occasions. The well-to-do took note of the event, but the subsistence farmers did not make a fuss over these holidays. Possibly, the reason for this was two-fold: 1, New Year's Eve was not a religious holiday and so did not have the same special status as other religious holidays and 2, it came so close to the Christmas holidays that the poorest of the poor simply did not have the money to splurge on the event. In other areas of the South (e.g. Campania) New Year's was often paired up with the Feast Day of Saint Sylvester, and special foods were made for the occasion. However, as far as I can tell, in Molise, subsistence farmers avoided any special celebration for the event. My maternal grandmother, whose family was rather poor, did not make any fritters for New Year's. On the other had, my maternal grandmother, might have made a scrippelle or two. Among the upper classes it is very possible that households put out on New Year's a variety of sweets, including fritters, honey-glazed nuts and biscotti, still, whatever they did put out would have been less lavish then they would have done for Christmas. In modern-day Molise I suspect things have completely turned around -- New Year's Eve might be a bigger event than Christmas, but this I cannot be sure of. All I do know is that Italian-Canadians make a very big fuss over both Christmas and New Year's. But then Italian-Canadians don't need much of an excuse to have a party.....

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