Usciun

I cannot find a single mention of these anywhere else online. And I’ve only encountered them once in Italy. Capodanno (New Years), 2012.

We went to dinner with two friends. She’s Neopolitan, he’s from Cassino (yes, the town virtually destroyed during one of the grimmest battles of World War 2). He says these are unique to Cassino. I don’t have any reason to doubt him.

They’re basically deep-fried, filled dough balls. Not unlike castagnole, but savoury. The ones they made for us had uva secca (dried grape, so raisins. Which is a bit of a mystery to me as I have never found raisins for sale in Rome, but do see uva sultanina, sultanas).

They also said larger versions can be filled with baccalà (salt cod), and other savoury fillings.

I believe they’re not unlike certain pizzelle napoletane fritte, which can be small discs, but can also be balls, like here or here.

I’m kicking myself for not taking a photo, but I only had my phone. A bowl of doughballs would be hard to photo at the best of times, let alone with a phone, in the half-light of New Year’s Eve, lit only by candles and the flashes of seasonal explosions going off outside.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Usciun

  1. Ma

    Can’t quite imagine what these would be like – what sort of size? Bit stodgy or not? Pity no photo as you say.

  2. About the size of a chestnut. Nice – not unlike a doughball you’d get from a British pizzeria, but filled. And deepfried…

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