Recipe by Eva Scialò
Few dishes are as significant as “struffoli” - at least in the Neapolitan area. These fried sweet balls of dough covered with honey and sprinkles immediately evoke Christmastime and represent a pleasant divertissement at the end of meals or on festive afternoons, when one portion leads to another, perhaps paired with a good glass of dessert wine. “Struffoli” were introduced by the Greeks, in very ancient times, when Parthenope belonged to Magna Graecia; in fact, the etymology of the word “struffoli” apparently derives from "strongoulos", that is "rounded", and even today, in Greece, people still prepare a very similar dessert, but made with more elongated shaped balls, called "loukoumades" (delicacies). The dessert spread throughout Southern and Central Italy, undergoing slight variations, so in Lazio and Abruzzo it is called “Cicerchiata”, due to the shape of the balls being very similar to that of “Cicerchie” (grass peas) and “Cicerata” in Basilicata and Calabria, while in Sicily it loses an f, becoming “Strufoli”.