IPictured are two males – one round 60, the opposite round 30 – a younger lady and a toddler round six all seated in carved chairs at a desk. Behind them is a window with skinny inexperienced curtains framing a transparent view of a mountain. Three carved spoons cling on the wall, together with an identical portray in view. Each males are carrying jackets over plaid shirts; the lady is carrying a pink twin-set with an identical headband beneath her bouffant; and the kid is in what seems to be overalls.
On the desk are water and wine glasses, bread in a basket and two trays. One is roofed in slices of salami, cheese and a pile of beans, and on the opposite is a small mountain of fries the scale of an egg. potato torteor potato fritters. The kid has one in his hand and smiles. In actual fact, everyone seems to be smiling. The photograph is on web page 67 of a 1971 journal, Benvenuti a Trento (Welcome to Trento).
In accordance with Confraternita della Torta and del Tortel de Patate, the Brotherhood of Galettes and Potato Fritters (which is headquartered in Trentino, a area on the prime of Italy, the place town of Trento is situated), three issues depend to make each a big torta or a number of small ones tortei. First, the kind of potato; they counsel the kennebec, an all-purpose white potato developed in Maine within the Forties. Second, the grater, which ought to have giant holes. And thirdly, the pan, which must be copper.
I had left earlier than getting into. I haven’t got kennebec potatoes or a copper pan. I do, nonetheless, have a field grater with large holes, the type of holes that produce particular bursts of carrot and apple for coleslaw, cucumber for yogurt, and apple that then browns miserably in yogurt . So I grated, squeezed, added salt and began shaping the donuts. It was clear nearly instantly that the grates in my hand weren’t going to show into these flat, chunky patties that made the kid smile. However I squeezed as greatest I might and fried them anyway. Whereas frying, the potatoes escaped my shaping and became crispy sea urchins. Which was good to eat, however not adequate for a platter.
The vacationer website of Trentino/Alto Adige I like the Val di Non mentions the Confrérie, in addition to a sure Nonna Maria, “a trusted cook dinner who has by no means disillusioned anybody; household, visitors or buddies, Italians and foreigners, who sat at his desk”. I really feel extra comfy with Nonna Maria than with the Brotherhood, though they’re most likely on the identical advertising and marketing board. Nonetheless, the massive holes in his grater are utterly completely different from mine. His produce a rough porridge, the consistency I affiliate with horseradish. Though she says she squeezes out the surplus water, she remains to be fairly moist, so she additionally provides flour: two tablespoons of flour to a kilo of potatoes are her proportions. She makes use of a tablespoon to carry the thick, dough-like combination right into a nonstick skillet during which she has heated just a bit oil. She makes use of the identical spoon to stir the highest and flatten the combination a bit. I discover they want somewhat assist with a spatula; they need to flip simply so you’ll be able to fry the opposite aspect as effectively. They appear to be röstis crossed with a greasy, golden pancake. It’s advantageous to dry them briefly, on a tea towel, earlier than putting them on a serving plate and sprinkling them with salt.
One other photograph, on the wall of a restaurant referred to as Maso Finisterre in Trento, calls them potato tortelloand every is served by itself little wood board, with Trentino salami, their very own cheese, cappuccino (which I assume is pickled cabbage) and beans. In the meantime, at one of many tables on this identical restaurant sits a Sicilian, an Englishwoman and a toddler who’s holding a potato fritter and frowning. Nobody can hassle to barter. The person and the lady share the remainder of the donuts, then they smile.
Potato fritters (potato torte)
Preparation 10 minutes
To cook dinner quarter-hour
Makes About 16
3 giant all-purpose white potatoes (about 1kg)
2 tablespoons plain flour
Salt and pepper
Olive oilfor frying
Salami, cheese and picklesto serve
Peel the potatoes and grate them on the massive holes of a field grater, ideally one which creates a rough mush, fairly than outlined slivers. Squeeze out extra water as greatest you’ll be able to.
In a bowl, combine the grated potato with the flour, salt and pepper.
Warmth somewhat oil in a non-stick pan. Scoop a heaped tablespoon of the potato combination into the skillet, utilizing the spoon to barely flatten the highest, and let fry. Utilizing a spatula, carry one nook to test that the underside is golden brown, then flip and fry on the opposite aspect.
Elevate onto a plate lined with a tea towel to blot, then switch to a dish. Sprinkle with salt and serve instantly with slices of cheese, salami and pickles.
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