“La Chjina ”, carnival sweet



“La Chjina ”, the oldest carnival sweet born in Calabria…

During the Carnival in Calabria, celebrations start with an ancient-flavored sweet.

Among the sweets typical of these days of fun, one with a very aromatic taste: the ” Chjina “.

The rich and tasty interior of the Carnival cake

Its shape is like a filled tart. Its origins date back to 1700, when sugar was still a privilege of the nobles.

The inhabitants of San Fili (CS) invented this dessert. Its name means that it is full, rich in ingredients.

Making the “ Chjina ” requires dexterity and a lot of good will, but it is not very difficult.

San Fili (CS)

Roll out the pastry and fill it. Cover it with another sheet of pastry and seal the edges well. The puff pastry must be soft enough but equally consistent to be easily shaped inside the pan in which it will be placed and whose shape it will have to take.

Below we report what could be the original recipe, naturally with ingredients that once did not exist.

Night view of the village


Ingredients to make the pasta:

  • eggs 3 sugar
  • 250 g milk 1/4 liter (also water)
  • fat 150 g
  • flour 1 kg
  • 1 sachet yeast
  • the finely grated zest of 1 lemon.
Great to taste!

The clear ones are first beaten from sun to snow. The pasta is left soft.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • crumbs 2 kg (crumbs obtained from 2 kilos of stale bread)
  • fig honey
  • 1 liter sugar
  • 500 g raisins
  • 1 kg nuts
  • 1 kg cocoa 250 g (sweet powder)
  • the finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange, cinnamon powder.
Panoramic square, Statue of S. Francesco di Paola

Mix everything well.

Grease the pan with fat and use the filling for a tart-shaped dessert, or in the ancient version, also inserting a disc of dough at the top.

Bake in a moderate oven until golden and garnish, if necessary, with vanilla sugar.

A magical place, suspended between mountains and valleys