Italian Taralli – Savoury fennel seeds snacks

Italian Taralli – Savoury fennel seeds snacks

By 14/02/2017

A simple mixture of flour, oil, water and wine enriched with a delicate scent of fennel seeds translates into "Taralli", a savoury snack typical to Southern Italy.

I usually buy them when I visit Italy and I enjoy them as an aperitif with a glass of wine. I have always been intrigued as to how to make them.

I grew up in Northern Italy so the original recipe "does not run through my genes" as they say. This is why I asked my friend Rosetta to help me in this. Rosetta comes originally from Calabria and when she was 6 she moved to the UK with all her family. It was after the war when Italy was very poor. They brought nothing with them just their genuine desire to do well and to work hard.

Later Rosetta married Antonio, an Italian from Benevento and they had three beautiful children together. Over the years they have done quite well: first they ran an Italian restaurant and then they successfully specialized in hairdressing. Their salon is now an award winning one and it is being managed by their son.

I love how Rosetta kept her Italian heritage over the years and her loving and caring ways so typical of an Italian mama. In fact she reminds me of home!

Let's have a look at the recipe. There might be a bit of work involved as you need to double cook them: first you boil them, then you bake them in the oven, but they are certainly worth a try and they can last well for a week stored in an airtight container.

Next time I will be sharing Rosetta's recipe for sweet taralli.

  • Prep Time : 30 minutes
  • Cook Time : 40 minutes
  • Yield : 100

Ingredients

Instructions

Put the flour, the water, the oil, salt, wine and the fennel seeds in a bowl

Italian Taralli savoury snacks with fennel seeds

Mix with a spoon until all the ingredients are well incorporated, then working with your hands make a compact smooth dough

Italian Taralli savoury snacks with fennel seeds

Divide the dough and roll it into small cylinders measuring approx 8 cm or 3 inch long and 1 cm or 0.4 inch thick.

Italian Taralli savoury snacks with fennel seeds

Cross them together and press both ends to form a little bow

Italian Taralli savoury snacks with fennel seeds

Thanks Rosetta! They look great!

Now let them rest for 15 minutes covered with a cloth.

Italian Taralli savoury snacks with fennel seeds

Bring to the boil a saucepan of water then when it starts to bubble up throw in a few taralli  at a time and boil them until they come up to the surface. Stir them from time to time to avoid them sticking to the bottom.

With a slotted spoon fish them from the water and let them rest for a couple of minutes on a dry cloth.

Place them on a greased baking sheet and bake them for about 30 minutes at 180C or 350F or until golden. Half way through the cooking turn them on the other side so that they will cook evenly.

Italian Taralli savoury snacks with fennel seeds

Italian Taralli savoury snacks with fennel seeds

Rosetta and I also cooked Calabrian stuffed bell peppers with anchovies, olives and breadcrumbs. You might like to check out the recipe.

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13 Responses to Italian Taralli – Savoury fennel seeds snacks

  1. Maria

    I absolutely love taralli! My Mom was originally from Benevento (Molinari). During my youth, I can still remember being so envious… all the other kids eating oreo cookies and we had taralli! Fast forward a few decades later and it is now my obsession. Thanks for sharing and grazie Rosetta ♥

    • Alida

      How funny! When you are a child you never understand the value of being exposed to a different culture. It does enrich your life so much. I am doing the same with my children; I speak Italian to them and they eat Italian every day.. I am sure they will appreciate that when they are older. Thanks for stopping by Maria!

      • Susana Bo

        Hi Alida- Totally agree with you. I grew up in Argentina and was exposed to the italian, german and vasque cultures. I value tremendously the teachings of my grandmothers, specially now that I live in Toronto, Canada.

  2. Chiara

    mio figlio li adora, quando passa davanti ad un negozio di specialità pugliesi li compera sempre, vorrei imparare a farli in casa come Rosetta!

    • Alida

      Si uno tira l’altro!

  3. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    These snacks are new to me, but I do love fennel seeds. Wish I could taste one now. Thanks, Rosetta, and Alida, for sharing!

    • Alida

      Fennel seeds just add so much flavour!

  4. La cucina di Molly

    Che brava la tua amica rosetta…buonissimi i taralli, da noi al sud si preparano di vari gusti, tipo pizza, alla cipolla e uva passa, al peperoncino… sono degli stuzzichini molto gustosi! Un bacione cara!

    • Alida

      Voi siete gli specialisti al sud. Chissa’ che buoni quelli che fai tu!

  5. speedy70

    Un prodotti tipico, sono ottimi, complimenti!!!

    • Alida

      Grazie cara!

  6. classyflavors

    Thank you Alida. I think had save this recipes. 🙂

    • Alida

      One of those classic ones!

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