Great with coffee or tea, these Italian crackers (Taralli) from South Italy are perfect for snack, or even for a light breakfast — and you can store them for months!
Taralli are addictive snacks from Puglia; do not believe anyone that tells you otherwise. 🙂
Nowadays, they’re practically sold in almost all parts of Italy, but personally, I only buy them if I see that they are MADE in Apulia (or Puglia in English).
White wine and olive oil, those are the two base flavors of Taralli. Add flour, a bit of salt and some fennel seeds – and you’re good to go.
HOW TO MAKE TARALLI
CAN I USE RED WINE INSTEAD OF WHITE WINE FOR THESE ITALIAN CRACKERS?
I honestly have not seen that (yet). But I did try it once, just out of curiosity.
I reckon, it should be the same result since the only difference is the color because of the skin of the grapes, right? Well, the result was not bad, but it felt off.
There was a difference in the color of the crackers, of course. But the one that stood out the most was that I could barely taste the olive oil in the crackers – the wine had totally overpowered it.
So, bear that in mind, in case you’re thinking of using red wine.
CAN I USE VEGETABLE OIL INSTEAD OF OLIVE OIL FOR THESE TARALLI PUGLIESE?
I strongly suggest you don’t do that. It will completely change the flavor of the crackers.
Olive oil (or extra virgin olive oil) has got a distinct taste that goes so well with white wine and fennel – the combination just clicks.
CAN I SKIP THE FENNEL SEEDS FOR TARALLI PUGLIESE?
If you’re not a fan of fennel, you can try these other variations:
- Black pepper
- Black olives
- Turmeric (Trust me, it exists. I actually did a double take when I saw this in Bari, back in 2017 🙂 )
TIPS ON MAKING ITALIAN CRACKERS –
- You can vary the size of the log if you prefer the crackers to be thinner.
- Make sure they’re completely dry when you place them in the oven. If not, they will end up slightly chewy, not crunchy.
- There is no need to use a mixer for this. Since the dough is small and easy to handle, I have always done this manually.
- For storing properly, keep taralli with fennel seeds on airtight containers and it would last you months.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH TARALLI WITH FENNEL SEEDS?
Coffee, tea, wine, hot chocolate… pretty much anything you want. Oh! If you are pairing taralli with wine, you need to DUNK them in the wine to fully enjoy them. 😉
One of my favorites though (and I apologize in advance if you are Sicilian) – is to pair them with Sicilian Almond Granita. I love how it complements the sweetness and the texture of the granita. Give them a try!
FOR OTHER ITALIAN SNACKS, CHECK OUT THESE POSTS –
- Sicilian Sesame Seed Cookies
- Italian Polenta Cookies (Zaleti)
- Tuscan Fig Cookies (Cantucci ai Fichi)
VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN CRACKERS (TARALLI)
Also known as 'Taralli Pugliese', these Italian crackers are great with coffee or tea; perfect for snack, or even for a light breakfast. And you can store them for months! (VIDEO ABOVE)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 & 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
Using a medium mixing bowl, combine olive oil and white wine. Whisk to combine.
Add flour and salt. Combine until a dough starts to form. (You can use a spatula, a wooden spoon or even your hands to mix).
Add fennel seeds and mix. At this point it’s better to use your hands to properly combine the dough.
Knead dough until smooth.
Place ball of dough on a greased bowl and cover with clean kitchen towel. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Take a small piece of dough and roll it into a log (about 4 cm long). Connect both ends of the log to form a small circle. This recipe makes about 40 pieces.
While finishing the dough, bring water to a boil, using a medium sized pot.
Slowly drop the crackers into the pot of boiling water. (Do not drop everything at the same time, do it in batches.)
Once the crackers float, use a slotted spoon to take them out of the pan and place them on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
Once the crackers are completely dry, preheat oven to 200°C (375°F).
Once the oven is ready, place the crackers on a baking tray, lined with a baking sheet.
Place the baking tray in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 mins. For the last 7 minutes, move the tray on the top part of the oven, to give the crackers a darker color.
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