What is "frittura di Paranza"?

What is "frittura di Paranza"?

Aug 22, 2021Donatella Mulvoni

Sun, sea, beaches. What is missing? A delicious mixed fried seafood, fun and irresistible! Today we talk about Frittura di Paranza and the fish used to prepare it.


Paranza: A traditional dish of Southern cuisine

For many Italians, summer "rhymes" with Paranza. It is a simple fry of assorted small fishes, squids, prawns, squids, eaten with a generous squeeze of lemon. Just the thought of it makes our mouths water. What could be better than enjoying a mixed fried fish in a nice rustic restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean, sipping a glass of white wine? Well, there are very few things that can equal the organoleptic pleasure of a crunchy Paranza. 


What does Paranza mean?

The name "Paranza" comes from the Neapolitan fishing boat once used for trawling, equipped with a small fishing net. In general, the word "paranza" indicated in ancient times the frying of small fish that for their small size were not quickly sold and then remained on the boat. Paranza is one of those traditional dishes that are absolutely low cost. But don't be fooled; these discarded fish make for a tasty dish.


'O cuopp! 

If you are in Naples, please don't' skip this street food delicacy. It is called "'o cuopp", in the local dialect. It is one of the absolute protagonists of Neapolitan street food, together with the very famous "pizza a portafoglio" (folded pizza) and pizza fritta (fried pizza). The Neapolitan "Cuopp" is a paper cup filled with deep-fried Paranza. Be careful, "'O Cuopp" must be served and enjoyed very hot, otherwise, it loses its crispness. A beautiful Neapolitan expression says "frijenno magnanno," which translates literally "frying and eating." It means that you should eat your Paranza (and generally your fry) as it is fried.


The perfect Paranza

The secret to a good Paranza? Taste it in a traditional Neapolitan trattoria! But if that is not an option...here are some valuable tricks to prepare a delicious one at home. For the dish to be successful, it is necessary to follow some small rules. First of all, fry in hot (very hot) oil; the most appropriate oil is peanut oil because it is practically tasteless; another must, is to deep fry your Paranza; the last and most important tip is to be careful with the flour for breading the fish (flouring should never be excessive: a light coating is sufficient). The directions are really easy. You will need a selection of 2-inch long fish. Wash and clean your fish, roll it in flour, deep fry it. Add salt and pepper, and serve with lemon.


Wine, the best matches for your Paranza

Put the wine on ice! Pair your Paranza with some bubbles! Choose Prosecco, Franciacorta, or sparkling wine. Try Falanghina, Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, or Sardinian Vermentino if you prefer white wines.

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