Crostoli for my father

Today I made crostoli for the first time and I made them for my father. Crostoli are a delightfully light and sweet pastry to have during times of celebration. Mamma says she learnt to make them from her zia ‘Rica (aunt Enrica) at Gorgo del Monticano (in the Veneto region) during the war. Once my parents had retired, papa’ used to help mamma cut the pastry into beautiful bows before frying them. I remember them in the kitchen, working away together making crostoli.

Last Christmas he said to me “ma Paoletta, dove ti ga impara’ a cusinar cosi’ ben?” (Istrian dialect meaning “where did you learn to cook so well?”), knowing full well my mother taught me to cook. I wish I could hear him say those words again. I wish he could taste the crostoli I made. He would probably tell me to take off the icing sugar, he liked them plain. He would be happy though that I added a splash of grappa to the pastry, just enough lemon zest and that they are light and crisp.

He passed away a few days ago and tomorrow family and friends will be celebrating his wonderful 90 year life. I will bring the crostoli to share and I will think how very much I miss him.

Papa' cutting his prosciutto

14 comments on “Crostoli for my father

  1. So sorry to learn of your loss. Your father lives on in your words, and your heart. Lovely, it made me think of family, thank you.


  2. Dear Livia,
    I recently lost my father as well, and like your Dad it seems, he was quite a cook. One of my fondest memories is my father cutting the huge leg of lamb for Sunday dinner. I have many of his recipes to remember him by, but the one I didn’t have was for his crostoli. What I do remember is that he also didn’t add any butter or oil to his dough. Thanks so much for the recipe. My son and I are going to be making these for the holiday’s just like he used to.

    Renee Carlo


    • Dear Renee, thanks for reading my blog and you taking the time to comment. Losing one’s father is such a major event – I don’t think you ever get over it completely. It is lovely that you have memories. I am so glad you found the crostoli recipe – are you italian? Your name certainly is (Carlo). My mother (Livia)’s maiden name was Carli – almost like yours. Good luck with the crostoli – they are fun to make!


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