are the most common traditional sweets in theprovince of Belluno
Crostóli, wafer-thin slices of pastry made with eggs, sugar and flour, which until the 1970s were always fried in lard, are eaten with caster sugar sprinkled over them, and in the North of the province they are prepared to celebrate the most important festive occasions, particularly weddings. The paste of the frittelle is made from simple ingredients - eggs, flour, sugar and yeast - but it can be flavoured with grappa or enriched with slices of apple and/or raisins. In Livinallongo, Colle Santa Lucia and Zoldo Alto the paste is dropped into the boiling lard using a particular type of funnel with a handle which gives the frittelle a characteristic spiral shape (fortàie). They are then sprinkled with sugar and often topped with a delicious dollop of cream. Peculiar to a number of towns and villages such as Cortina d’Ampezzo, San Vito di Cadore, Livinallongo and Colle Santa Lucia are crafìn (grafói/carfògn), a kind of sweet, wafer-thin pastry fried in lard and filled with poppy seeds ground together with chocolate and dry biscuits. They are mostly home-made, but you can also find them in some cake-shops and restaurants. A typical type of sweet bread of the Veneto region, common throughout the Valbelluna and Feltrino areas, is the focaccia di Pasqua, traditionally prepared specially for Easter. The secret of its delicious taste lies in the long hard work required to mix the paste, which is kneaded and left to rise three times in succession before baking. The focaccia can be bought from all the best local bakeries. Another common, well-known type of sweet bread is the pinz^a ( known as pèta in Comelico, péta in Cadore, bàtol in the Val di Zoldo and in the Agordino), a type of flat loaf made with maize flour. Many local variants can be found, all of them delicious: with nuts and dried fruit, pumpkin, grated apple or cumin seeds. Today a softer version is commonly found, made with the addition of 00 flour; the original recipe was cooked under the ashes in order to make it particularly hard and thus suitable for dipping into milk.
No article on the traditional sweets of the area would, of course, be complete without mentioning ice-cream. The capital of ice-cream making is undoubtedly the Val di Zoldo and also the Cadore, from where many local people still emigrate in spring and summer, especially to Germany , to make and sell their speciality. Their premium-quality, hand-made ice-cream, recognised throughout Europe, is the end result of years of experience, particular skill and high-quality ingredients, and is a perfect, popular treat for anyone with a sweet tooth.
on and codinz^
e are truly delicious, natural snacks. The former is obtained from dried apples, cooked and then shaped into bars; the latter are rounds of sun-dried apples or, less commonly, of peaches, apricots or plums. Originally made from the poorer quality fruit, in order to preserve it for longer, today they are a highly-regarded sweet snack. Codinz^
e (also known as sónde in Belluno and in the Alpago) can be left to soak in hot water to make inviting, sweet drinks, ideal for the winter season. The apples used are generally of the Rosetta variety, which, together with the Prussian Apple and the Cesio Ferro, are just a few of the age-old varieties grown in the province of Belluno
, and especially in the Feltrino area.
for the curious...
Until the middle of the 20th century, almost a third of the walnuts produced in the whole Veneto region were from the Feltrino area. After decades of almost complete neglect, in recent years there have been attempts in the local area to restore the production of this ancient, much-prized food to something approaching its past splendour. Walnuts can be eaten in a wide range of ways, and are a fundamental ingredient of a number of traditional local sweets and cakes, such as the fregolotta. Another mouth-watering recipe is croccante, made by slowly cooking a mixture of crushed walnuts and caster sugar in a pan over a low heat and spreading out flat the mixture thus obtained so it becomes hard and crunchy.