Italian Taralli – Savoury fennel seeds snacks

A simple mixture of flour, oil, water and wine enriched with a delicate scent of fennel seeds translates into “Taralli”, a savoury snack typical to Southern Italy.

I usually buy them when I visit Italy and I enjoy them as an aperitif with a glass of wine. I have always been intrigued as to how to make them.

I grew up in Northern Italy so the original recipe “does not run through my genes” as they say. This is why I asked my friend Rosetta to help me in this. Rosetta comes originally from Calabria and when she was 6 she moved to the UK with all her family. It was after the war when Italy was very poor. They brought nothing with them just their genuine desire to do well and to work hard.

Later Rosetta married Antonio, an Italian from Benevento and they had three beautiful children together. Over the years they have done quite well: first they ran an Italian restaurant and then they successfully specialized in hairdressing. Their salon is now an award winning one and it is being managed by their son.

I love how Rosetta kept her Italian heritage over the years and her loving and caring ways so typical of an Italian mama. In fact she reminds me of home!

Let’s have a look at the recipe. There might be a bit of work involved as you need to double cook them: first you boil them, then you bake them in the oven, but they are certainly worth a try and they can last well for a week stored in an airtight container.

Next time I will be sharing Rosetta’s recipe for sweet taralli.

  • Prep Time : 30 minutes
  • Cook Time : 40 minutes
  • Yield : 100


  • plain flour – 500 g – 4 +¼ cup
  • dry white wine – 150 ml – 5 fl oz
  • water – 50 ml – 1.7 fl oz
  • olive oil – 125 ml – 4.2 fl oz
  • salt – 2 tsp
  • dried fennel seeds – 1 tbsp


Put the flour, the water, the oil, salt, wine and the fennel seeds in a bowl

Mix with a spoon until all the ingredients are well incorporated, then working with your hands make a compact smooth dough

Divide the dough and roll it into small cylinders measuring approx 8 cm or 3 inch long and 1 cm or 0.4 inch thick.

Cross them together and press both ends to form a little bow

Thanks Rosetta! They look great!

Now let them rest for 15 minutes covered with a cloth.


21 thoughts on “Italian Taralli – Savoury fennel seeds snacks

  1. I absolutely love taralli! My Mom was originally from Benevento (Molinari). During my youth, I can still remember being so envious… all the other kids eating oreo cookies and we had taralli! Fast forward a few decades later and it is now my obsession. Thanks for sharing and grazie Rosetta ♥


    1. How funny! When you are a child you never understand the value of being exposed to a different culture. It does enrich your life so much. I am doing the same with my children; I speak Italian to them and they eat Italian every day.. I am sure they will appreciate that when they are older. Thanks for stopping by Maria!


      1. Hi Alida- Totally agree with you. I grew up in Argentina and was exposed to the italian, german and vasque cultures. I value tremendously the teachings of my grandmothers, specially now that I live in Toronto, Canada.


  2. mio figlio li adora, quando passa davanti ad un negozio di specialità pugliesi li compera sempre, vorrei imparare a farli in casa come Rosetta!


  3. Che brava la tua amica rosetta…buonissimi i taralli, da noi al sud si preparano di vari gusti, tipo pizza, alla cipolla e uva passa, al peperoncino… sono degli stuzzichini molto gustosi! Un bacione cara!


  4. I love these Italian savoury snacks, so much better than potato crisps etc. My wife and I go to Rome quite often to visit our daughter who has lived there for 24 years, we always bring back a good supply when we return home but they dont last very long. now I have this recipe I will be making a batch every week to to go with our evening aperitivo.


    1. How wonderful to live in the “Eternal City” and an opportunity for you to go to Italy often if your daughter lives there.
      Definitely make your own! These last very well for some time if you store them well in a air tight container and they are so moreish! I do aperitivo at home too when I am in the UK, it is cheaper and sometimes even better (especially if you make your own taralli!).


  5. S.O.S Help
    Just finished my first batch (es) of sweet and savory taralli.
    The dough didn’t come together well so I had to add wine and/or water
    Hence the logs were not smooth and didn’t close well
    The were not golden after 20’ and I took them out. Not crunchy
    What did I do wrong?
    Kitchen smells like my nona’s 60 yrs ago!


    1. Hi Silvia,
      I think you probably needed to add a little more fat=olive oil to the pastry. That usually helps making a more smooth/elastic dough. Different flours can have different consistencies that’s why it is sometimes difficult to get it right. When you work the dough, you need to achieve a smooth consistency (this usually comes with experience).
      Adding just more water would have made the dough too watery, this is why you did not get crunchy taralli.
      Do not be discouraged, practice makes perfect. Let me know if you have any more questions.


  6. Thanks for this recipe. My sister-in-law makes them, but usually adds crushed red peppers to half of the batch for those who like theirs spicy. My son has been pesting me to try my hand at them!


    1. Yes you should try them. They are ever so delicious, a really nice snack and they last for a while if they are well stored in an airtight container.


  7. I make no boil Taralli, can this recipe be made no boil? I want to try this , but I don’t want to boil them. Thank you


    1. Yes you can try making them without boiling them. The reason why they are boiled is that they get more crumbly and glossy like the ones you get at the shops.


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