Calabrian traditions: the cuddruriaddri

Cooking the "cuddruriaddri" is one of the most popular Calabrian traditions during the Christmas period, especially on the Day before the Immaculate Conception fest. The heady scent of this fried doughnuts has been the smell of Christmas in Calabria for centuries.

The recipe is from ancient times. The word "cuddura" derives from the ancient Greek κολλύρα (kollura) which means "crown" due to the form of the braided pastry crown.

Originally from the city of Cosenza, today, the cuddruriaddri are popular throughout the region with different names such as cullurielli, zippuli or grispelle depending on the area.

These particular donuts are prepared with water, flour and brewer's yeast. The original recipe from Cosenza doesn't include potatoes, but in many places people add them to make the dough even softer and more delicate. The greediest can enjoy the sweet version in which the freshly fried cuddruriaddri are dipped into sugar.

The cudduriaddri must be served hot, preferably with a glass of red wine.