Food, life, recipes

Frezzelle

What is a Frezzelle, you ask? Well, if you’re Italian, you may already know. If you just happen to like Italian food, read on.

Since I wrote about my family of Italian cooks in my memoir anthology, and the types of foods they used to make, I thought I’d share another one today. Frezzelles were part of our Italian food tradition.

Living in Florida, I can no longer find Frezzelles, but where I grew up (suburban Chicago), I could find them at many corner stores. Just the sight of them makes me long for days gone by with Grandma and Mom making me one of these. I can almost smell the garlic and oregano.

frezzelle 1 wmThis is not a recipe post, but if you happen to find these crusty, bread delights, you can use this description as a template.

The above, doughnut-looking shape of bread is quite hard. Grandma used to rub a raw piece of garlic over its crusty middle and around the edges. Since it’s too hard to bite into, she then sprinkled water over it to soften for chewing.

We added spices and whatever food suited our fancy that day, or whatever we had handy. Add ingredients in whatever order you wish. Here we have balsamic vinegar and olive oil, a cold-cut like salami, prosciutto, capicola or sopressata, cheese like provolone or fontina, tomatoes and spices like salt, pepper, oregano. Basically, an open face Italian sub sandwich on very crusty bread. (Fonts in different color are the actual ingredients on this particular frezzelle).

frezz2There are many ways you can top this delicious Italian hard bread. I found a fantastico food blogger from Chicago who put it together much better than I. She added green olives, roasted red peppers and capers. OMG! Next time I visit back home to Chicago, I think I’ll go knock on her door for a meal. Her blog proves her to be a phenomenal Italian cook. Check out the photos  of her assembly here.

Thanks for going down the food memory lane with me today. If you missed the last installment of my free memoir series, or any of the installments, click here to read.

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32 thoughts on “Frezzelle”

  1. Never had this … Lori. I just have to try one in Chicago … we can’t even get bagels in Sweden, it has started to top up on some cafes but I can buy them anywhere. I know I would enjoy this .. so you have to tell me where to find them in Chicago. Thanks for the link.

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    1. Hey, I don’t know of any restaurants that serve frezzelles. We buy them at the grocery store and put them together at home. They are nothing like bagels. I think Italians peasants first started making these to put stale bread to use. This tastes like Italian bread, but it’s really, really hard. Has to be softened with water. Thanks for checking it out. I was wondering if you’d heard of them.

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      1. Okay … never heard of – what a pity that I can’t buy them on a cafe ready made.
        Interesting about the water … I have to ask Bebs, if she knows if there any cafe serving them.

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        1. Cool! You found one. My dad grew up in that area. I’m going the link to him and see if he’s familiar with the restaurant. Thanks for sharing this.

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                1. Viveka, I’m sorry to say, there are very few good restaurants here. I don’t even know that I could recommend any. However, I just got an email from my dad about Rosal’s, and said he hears good things about it. Yay!

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                  1. No good restaurants … ????!!! I have do a google search.
                    Fantastic, it’s not so fare away from our hotel, short cab ride. Will put it on the bucket list. *smile

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  2. Frezzelles are new to me but look delicious. Food is such a memory hook. Just thinking about it makes me nostalgic for my own favourites, the food my body craves if I don’t feel 100%.

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    1. Yep, it’s so very delicious. BTW, I thought you were going to David’s Bridal for a bride’s dress at first. Heh. Glad it went well for you. I didn’t have any trouble with a bridesmaid dress when I went their either.

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