A crispy treat eaten throughout Italy during the Carnival season. According to the Christian calendar, Carnival is the period that leads up to Lent. Carnival began as a pagan festival dedicated to Saturn, father of Jupiter. During the Saturnalia that was held during the month of March, people would wear masks to drive away the spirits, make sacrifices, participate in orgies and invert social roles, turning landowners into slaves and vice versa during the entire duration of the festival.
With the spread of Christianity, the more wild, pagan elements of the celebration were left behind and Carnival became a time to eat and party in excess prior to Lent. For this reason, many to the foods prepared during the Carnival period are sweets and especially fritters.