Ya Gotta Love This Dessert Treat, Struffoli.

We loved Struffoli, a Neapolitan treat made of deep fried balls of dough about the size of marbles. Crunchy on the outside and light inside, struffoli are drizzled with honey. They seem to appear during the Christmas season.



My brother said, “We call these cici di chiada.” It was a name we recognized from our youth and associated with the dish. That’s what our grandparents called them.
One year, I met a couple from Rome and mentioned the dish in passing.

“How did you come to call if cici di chiada? I have only heard that name for it in Chieti (in Abruzzo) where my wife is from.”

“No kidding! My grandparents came from there! The town of Pollutri.”

So finally I understood the dialect. It was time for a little research.
Yes, struffoli are called cicerchiata in Chieti, especially in the town of Pollutri.
In Casalbordino, another Abruzzi town nearby, strffoli are called ciciricchata.
You can see how close they are to the name cici-di-chiada.

They are called struffoli in the Naples area. No matter. They are delicious in all dialects.

By | 2017-07-10T16:10:10+00:00 December 28th, 2015|Food|6 Comments


  1. Karyn December 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    My mom made these every Christmas- I lioved picking the pieces out- so good . My mom’s parents were from Calabria

    • Ed January 4, 2016 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Karyn. So nice to hear of your memories. Happy New Year!

  2. Gil DiLeone December 29, 2016 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    My father loved them. Both my Mom and my uncle Joe made them all the time around this time of year. I can’t say I liked them, so i do’t mss them.
    Gil DiLeone

    • Ed December 30, 2016 at 3:11 pm - Reply

      A very popular dessert, but not for all. I am sure you had your favorites, Gil.
      Buon Anno

  3. Jack Coletti January 2, 2018 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    Ed, I remember helping (?) my mother make this in the basement kitchen, took hours. ( Probably ate more than I made. ) My Mom was Russian but she became an excellent Italian cook. She also made wandies but struffoli were my favorites.

    • Ed January 3, 2018 at 1:24 pm - Reply

      Yes, I loved them, Jack. Not easy to make. Nor were the wandies. Would love to have dined at your house when we were kids.

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