Struffoli – a classic Christmas dessert from Naples, Italy
A classic Christmas dessert of the Neapolitan cuisine.
Struffoli – also known as Honey Balls – are small dough balls (and I mean really small), that are deep-fried and rolled in honey, before being assembled into a ring.
The Struffoli are about custom, celebration, and sweetness. This is the festive centrepiece of Christmas in the south of Italy. Indeed, Struffoli, along with Roccocò and Mostaccioli, is a classic Chrismas sweet of the Neapolitan cuisine.
The Struffoli however, was not born in Naples but in Greece, most likely before the birth of Christ. The name derives from the Greek word "strongoulos", or 'rounded'. Also in Greek, the word "pristòs" means cut. Therefore, a "strongoulos pristòs" is a round cut ball, or, Struffolo.
You get a very real sense of this if you make the Struffoli in company, with other hands to roll out the dough with you.
Someone rolls the dough, someone cuts the balls, and someone else fries.
The decorations includes "diavulilli" (hundreds and thousands!) sprinkles, along with candied fruit and glacé cherries.
If you spend a Christmas in Naples, you have to taste them!
Merry Christmas everyone!