The Sicilian Kitchen in the Day of the Dead

The holy celebration in autumn

On November the 2nd, Sicily celebrates the Festival Day of the Dead, when children receive gifts from their dead relatives. During the weeks before, the all pastry shops and bar change the shelfs and showcases. At the beginning of October, the religious spirit and the old tradition respect the holy celebration as it would be the last days of November.

The Martorana fruit

A very old story begins 500 years ago when the nuns of the Martorana monastery in Palermo had a genius idea. Speaking of Martorana church, we recommend to not miss out the visit of this incredible place. It is one of the oldest churches in Palermo. There, in the ancient center of the city you could stay in our elegant Palermo apartments. During the thirteenth century, the nuns wanted to offer many gift for the Pope visit. Considering the bad weather of autumn, they have not collected a sufficient harvest, so they had to replaced the original fruits and vegetables with a reproduction of the marzipan. The incredible similarity with the original fruit is such that seems real. Indeed, these exquisite marzipan sweets have the same dimensions and colors of vegetables and fruit. The method of the imitation is a true expression of the Sicilian gastronomical creativity. You could order one basket of Martorana fruit in the best bars of Palermo: Cappello pastry shop or Costa pastry shop.

The recipes of the Day of the Dead

In the past, especially during the Middle Ages, the chickpeas and fava beans was given to the poor people. Many said that the legumes represented the deceased people. This kind of gesture is resumed in the local kitchen along the centuries. The fava beans are dried and crushed with oil creating a creamy dish. Then, if you’ll walk in the street od old centers, you’ll find many deli shops for buying ’muffollette’. It is a typical and soft bread with sesame which is fill up of oil and anchovy.

This article was written by Giulia Sofi
Today, she creates editorial content for cultural magazine and exhibition project.
Her articles have been published in some art magazine like CityRivista and Insideart.