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Course Dessert
Place of origin Italy
Region or state Naples
Main ingredients Dough, honey
Cookbook: Struffoli  Media: Struffoli

Struffoli is a Neapolitan dish made of deep fried balls of dough about the size of marbles. Crunchy on the outside and light inside, struffoli are mixed with honey and other sweet ingredients. There are many different ways to dress them, but the traditional way is to mix them in honey with diavulilli (nonpareils sprinkles), cinnamon, and bits of orange rind. In Calabria they are also known as scalilli. They are often served at Christmas and are sometimes served warm.


A similar dish is described by Archestratus, a Greek poet from Gela in Sicily. It was called enkris (Greek: ἐγκρίς) — a dough-ball fried in olive oil, which he details in his Gastronomy; a work now lost, but partially preserved in the Deipnosophists of Athenaeus, which mentions enkris thirteen times, in various inflected forms.[1] The most complete description of it in the Deipnosophists is a passage that reads:

πεμμάτιον ἑψόμενον ἐν ἐλαίῳ καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο μελιτούμενον, μνημονεύει αὐτῶν Στησίχορος διὰ τούτων

χόνδρον τε καὶ ἐγκρίδας ἄλλα τε πέμματα καὶ μέλι χλωρόν.

There are cakes, also, called ἐγκρίδες. These are cakes boiled in oil, and after that seasoned with honey; and they are mentioned by Stesichorus in the following lines:—

Groats and encrides, And other cakes, and fresh sweet honey.


Similar Dishes[edit]

  • Gulab jamun - A small pastry made with milk solids in South Asia.
  • Croquembouche - A similar French dish.
  • Lokma - a sweet dumpling found throughout the Mediterranean basin
  • Pignolata - a similar Sicilian pastry.
  • Teiglach - a similar Jewish pastry[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Perseus Project "Word frequency information for ἐγκρίς", available at: [1], retrieved 27 June, 2015
  2. ^ Athenaeus. The Deipnosophists. with an English Translation by. Charles Burton Gulick. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. London. William Heinemann Ltd. 1927. 1. [2]
  3. ^