dalla cucina di Joanna Lucarino
My memories of the holidays center around family and food. We all have our favorite traditional treats with mine being honey-coated little balls of deep-fried pastry which we call la cicerchiata.
My family serves this dessert shaped into a wreath and decorated with multi-colored candy sprinkles at Christmastime. In the Abruzzo-Molise regions we call it cicerchiata, named for their resemblance to an ancient legume similar to chickpeas or ceci. In Naples it is known as struffoli. Many will serve this for Carnevale (Mardi Gras).
My older sisters told us younger siblings that it was ceci beans dipped in honey. Gross! Needless to say, we all stayed away from it, that is until we were old enough to realize it was pastry dough and