Frittole street food of Reggio Calabria

Pork fritters: what they are and how to prepare them (article by CityNow)
by Gianluca Putortì – Period of the Feast of Our Lady of Consolation, period of frittole! But what are the much loved frittole?

Pork fritters are a typical dish of the city of Reggio Calabria and the surrounding areas. The frittole are obtained by heating the pig’s rind in a tin-plated copper pot, called caddara. The pot is lined inside by the pig’s rind, making sure that the fat is facing inwards. In this way it melts without adding water.

When the fat is partially melted, with particular precautions in relation to the size and type of meat, the ribs and the less noble parts of the pig (neck, cheek, tongue, snout, ears, legs, belly, kidneys and all those parts that can not be consumed in any other way) and are left to boil over very low heat in the fat for at least six hours, adding only salt and stirring frequently. With this procedure the meat becomes impregnated with the taste of the fat and becomes very tender, making also the cartilaginous parts edible.

According to tradition, the caddara is placed outside the farmhouses when slaughtering and also in front of the various butchers of the city, which on Saturday prepare the cooking to serve the mid-morning frittole, accompanied with bread and sprinkled with black pepper. The frittole are to be eaten preferably warm.

The frittole in Reggio Calabria are traditionally consumed on the occasion of the Feast of Our Lady of Consolation, patron of the city and more generally during certain holiday periods (Christmas, and especially during the Carnival period, particularly on the day of Fat Thursday).

In these periods, along the streets of the city center you can feel the scent that contributes to create the picturesque and characteristic popular festive atmosphere. Tradition has it that the pig is slaughtered only in the period between the feast of the Patron and Shrove Tuesday. Of course in recent times, for commercial reasons, this custom is disregarded, but after Carnival (especially during the Lent and even more during the hot months) it is difficult to produce frittole.

Photo: vinsparlando.it