Taralli or Tarallini are a crunchy savory snack very common and very much loved in Italy. Their shape resembles a tiny bagel and they can be flavored with any spice. They can be easily made with just 3 pantry staples ingredient: Olive oil, flour, and white wine. They are very addictive, when you eat one, you can't stop!
Taralli are one of the most common snacks in Italy. Everybody knows them and loves them. They have a specific flavor that is different than other crackers or snacks. For this reason, I think it's common to think that the specific flavor can only be achieved by a complex manufacturing process with the addition of who-knows-what.
This is what most shocked me when I tried making Tarallini at home the first time. The flavor was EXACTLY the same as the store-bought ones. The same specific delicious flavor and crumbly flaky consistency.
This made me realize how simple food is always the best. When you don't need to add anything else other than 3 main ingredients and seasonings.
What are Taralli?
Taralli or Tarallini are a common snack from the South of Italy. Although the most famous denomination is Taralli Pugliesi, from Apulia region, it's uncertain where they are originally from as they are common also in other regions like Campania, Calabria, Basilicata, and Sicily.
A book from the 18th century, mentions Taralli as the food who was feeding the poor people of Naples. At the time they were making them from the scraps of bread dough from the bakeries.
In Apulia, they call it Tarallino because it's smaller than the Campania version and both have both sweet and savory versions. The sweet version is commonly eaten around Easter time.
The savory version, instead, is eaten all year long, especially with Aperitivo.
For other Aperitivo recipes check also my Italian Artichoke Dip and the Puff Pastry Mini Pizza.
- Flour: Instead of All-Purpose flour, you can also use whole wheat, spelt or other types of wheat flours. I never tried with other types of flour (like oat, rice, etc.) so I don't know if they would work.
- White Wine: I suggest using a dry white wine but you can use any white wine you have available. I don't suggest to use other types of wine.
- Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds are the most common flavoring in Taralli and they work really well. Although you can really flavor them with anything. In most bakeries in the south of Italy, you could find 100 different varieties. Try adding rosemary, oregano, pesto, chili pepper, dried onion, dried garlic, more black pepper, turmeric, and so on..
"Taralli" - Italian Aperitivo Snack
- 2 cups All purpose Flour
- ⅓ cup Olive Oil
- ⅓ cup White Wine, dry
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- a dash Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Fennel seeds, optional
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and knead energetically for a minimum of 5 minutes, up to 10 minutes. The kneading will make the dough more elastic.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set it aside to rest for about 15 minutes to activate the gluten.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
- To make the shape, roll a piece of dough into a long snake about ⅓ inch diameter (8-9 mm) and then chop pieces long about 3 inches (8-9 cm).
- Or you can take from the dough pieces of 5 grams each (0.17 oz) and then roll them 3 inches (8-9 cm) long.
- Pinch the ends together, pressing well to make them stick. Set them aside on a clean towel.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Toss the Taralli in the boiling water one by one so they don't stick to each other.
- When they start floating, take them out with a strainer tool and lay them again on the towel.
- Dry them lightly, then move them to a lined baking sheet, keeping them at least 1 inch (2-3 cm) away from each other.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until they're golden.
- Let them cool on a cooling rack before serving.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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