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Liguria’s traditional Carnival sweets
Treats for the year’s most colourful celebration

Classic or filled with jam or chocolate, these are the quintessential Carnival pastries, seen all over Italy (and with their own name in each region). Crisp yet crumbly, fried or baked and dusted with icing sugar, bugie are an essential part of Carnival, along with confetti, streamers, masks and practical jokes.

These are typical in Borgo di Coscia (Alassio province), which during Carnival celebrates the town’s victory over invading Saracen pirates in the 15th century. They’re made with flour, milk, eggs, apple rings, maraschino liqueur, a pinch of turmeric and the ubiquitous dusting of icing sugar..

Invented in the late 18th century as a poor man’s version of marrons glacés, these are Ventimiglia’s Carnival speciality. The name comes not from the inclusion of chestnut flour, but the shape and colour of the cakes, which resemble a chestnut glazed with sugar and orange blossom water, while the dough is made with cocoa, chocolate, coffee and spices.

A cult Genoese dish, served as a dessert at the end of a meal, or as part of the city’s celebrated fritto misto. It’s a kind of very firm creme patissiere flavoured with lemon peel, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs and fried.

Still in Genoa, we finish with an ancient dessert that’s unknown today outside a few traditionalists: sciumette are very light meringues that are not baked in the oven but simmered in milk and served on a delicate pistachio cream.

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