Fritule is a traditional Croatian festive soft nad airy pastry made for Christmas. They resemble little doughnuts. They can be flavored with rum and citrus zest, containing raisins, and always topped with powdered sugar. Christmas Eve in Dalmatia is unthinkable without fritula!
Fritule is prepared by quick deep frying in oil. That way, they get a golden color and crispiness. People have enjoyed them all along the Adriatic coast for centuries, including the islands. The recipes can differ from place to place and every region or village has something unique to add to the recept.
Precisely after the way the locals say „friganje, “the dessert got its name.
Fritule is fried in deep oil, so a dose of rakija (brandy) or rum prevents the fritule from imbuing too much oil during the frying. That way, they remain a light, sweet snack. Depending on where they are made, fritule can contain raisins, walnuts, pine nuts, grated orange peel, yogurt, vanilla, lemon, Maraschino liqueur, a little salt, or cinnamon for a beautiful aroma. So that the fritule are nice and round it is essential to prepare a thicker mixture than that for pancakes, smooth and without lumps of flour.
The mixture is then taken into the left hand and squeezed out through the fist, between the thumb and index finger, while with the right hand with the help of a spoon the necessary amount of dough is separated and dropped into the hot oil.
Although in Croatia they are mostly connected to Kvarner, Istria, and Dalmatia, fritule have conquered the continental part of the country over the last few years. So with the arrival of colder days, you can taste them in almost every corner. They are also a gladly seen dessert at carnival time.
Although everyone has their recipe that they claim is the best, we bring you a traditional Dalmatian recipe.
Making fritters by hand: