Saturday, February 20, 2010

Italian proverbs- non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco

A ciambella (chahm-BELL-ah) is the closest thing they have in Italy to a donut, although it is actually more similar to a ring cake. It is also nowhere near as common as our donuts, so beloved of cops, Homer Simpson, and many others. Even I will occasionally give in to a chocolate frosted at Dunkie's. Occasionally.

Our proverb informs us that not all donuts turn out with a hole. This means that you win some and you lose some, and not everything turns out as planned. Although, literally speaking, I don't know how a ciambella can possibly turn out without a hole unless you really mess up. You obviously need the proper equipment, with the ring in the middle. If you really make a ciambella or a donut without a hole you should perhaps get out of the kitchen.

Donuts without a hole are actually common in Italy (at least in the North), where they go by the name of krapfen (or the more Italian bombolone). They are of Germanic origin (doh!) and quite good. Although, come to think of it, they often do have a hole, but an internal hole filled with jelly or cream (yum)(this post is turning out more complicated than I had intended). If you are one of those culinarily-challenged people who makes donuts that turn out without the hole, and you insist on cooking, you can either quote the proverb or pretend you were making krapfen all along.

But the popularity of the Simpsons has piqued the Italians' curiosity about donuts, so some of them are trying the original. Along with muffins, cupcakes, scones, brownies, cheesecake and other Anglo-American goodies.