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The heatlhy and genuine old Sicilian cuisine

by | Jul 13, 2017 | Products | 0 comments

The cuisine of the peasant culture of the past was very simple and genuine, but the ancients also tell us that it was often poor, given the economic conditions of the families who worked in the fields. The fruit was at hand: “ficalinni” (prickly pears), “puma” (apples), “pira” (pears), “pruna” (plums), “nespuli” (medlars), “girasi” (cherries), and then the vegetables: broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, cauliflower etc.

A single dish was enough for lunch: “pasta c’a faciòla” (pasta and beans), “pasta e linticchia” (pasta with lentils), “pasta chi favi” (pasta with fava beans), “ù maccu” (a fava bean cream made with prolonged cooking of dried beans and vegetables), “pasta ch’i patati and lardu” (pasta with potatoes and lard). People used to eat healthy and natural ingredients, and there are those who say that life was healthier despite the hard work.

Before baking the bread, a loaf of rising bread was fried or grilled over coals. All families then kept chickens in the backyard and someone even the pigs, which were either sold in “a fera of ì ‘nnumali” of Santa Teresa (the cattle market) or killed for Christmas to make salami, bacon, “sasizza” (sausage), “saimi” (lard inserted when still warm and liquid inside an animal blister and eaten as butter, once cold and solid), “suppissata” (a particular type of salami), “sangunazzu” (a sausage containing pig’s blood and innards) and lard.

Some also raised a calf in the house: on the ground floor the room was generally used as a stable, and the first floor could be reached by a wooden staircase. The calf used to grow fat in a year and it was sold to butchers.
Hence the saying: “Cu si marìta sta cuntentu un ghiornu / Cu ‘mmazza ù porcu sta cuntentu n’annu” (“Who gets married is happy for a day, who kills the pig will be happy fort the whole year”).

Then there were the homemade liqueurs, such as “rosolio” and “nocino”, and the sweets: walnuts, dried figs, dried mustard, chestnuts, almonds. These were all kinds of food whose flavor is now lost with time.

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