The word carnival comes from the Latin carnem levare (to remove the flesh), as it referred to the banquet held on Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove Tuesday marks the culmination of celebrations during Carnival week, as it precedes Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent (the 40 days before Easter).
In the past, the eve of Lent was experienced as a day of celebration, during which people could feast on typical delicacies.
In the same spirit, Calabrians in all areas and provinces still celebrate Shrove Tuesday, indulging in lavish meals that can no longer be eaten during Lent as it marks the beginning of a period of abstinence and purification (like meat, which is forbidden throughout the Lenten period).
One of the most traditional and symbolic dishes of this day is certainly pork meatballs (‘pruppette’ or ‘purpetti’), fried or cooked in sauce.
The ingredients used are very simple: minced meat, bread, breadcrumbs, eggs, salt, tomato puree, parsley, black pepper, garlic and onion.
However, it takes a lot of experience to achieve a truly unique and appreciable result.
This is a very typical dish and representative of the “fattest” feast of the year, but it is also often eaten on traditional Sundays in Calabria.
We recommend that you try it so that you can immerse yourself in the local scents and traditions.
Francesco Tirinato – Jump Team
Sources and photos by: