In February when Istrian and Dalmatian towns begin the party of carnival parades, behind almost every corner the unmissable aromas of carnival pastries - fritule and kroštule – begin to waft. Also known throughout the coast as krostule, frustule, hrostule and krustavice (according to the Latin crustulum, which means a cake or sweet), kroštule are golden-yellow sweet snacks which disappear as quickly as they appear. Apart from carnival time, when the streets are overfilled with costumed, happy, local people, they are an indispensable part of every big family celebration in these Croatian regions.
Crispy and crunchy, kroštule are a tasty sweet which diligent hosts prepare from simple ingredients always present in their kitchens, and the recipe for these quick snacks is passed from generation to generation. It is believed that they originate from ancient times, and then they spread through Europe and therefore the way that they are made differs from area to area and from family to family, however, lovers of sweets of all ages enjoy them all the same.
The simple dough made from eggs, flour, sugar, the grated peel of local lemons or oranges and butter is then rolled into layers which is then cut into strips. Before being fried kroštule are formed into the desired shape, which most often includes twisting the dough into a knot, then scoring and folding, shaping into ribbons and even flowers, and then fried in hot oil.
The secret of their taste is in the small glass of aromatic homemade Maraschino, lemon liqueur or brandy added to the dough, and for a special treat, there is icing sugar as the final detail. The alcohol is not added for the aroma but in order that during the frying the kroštule imbue less oil and remain a light but filling snack.
This speciality of traditional cooking with its aroma, texture and taste will take you back to the past and delight your guests and those at home, and you will particularly enjoy it with your early morning coffee or tea, as well as with a glass of sparkling wine at twilight.