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Cuisine and literature in the villages dishes

Cuisine and literature in the villages dishes
Discover Sambuca di Sicilia

In Cordovado (Pordenone), where were set some scenes of the book Confessioni di un italiano, there is a typical artisan sweet that has the same name of a character from Ippolito Nievo’s novel, a baker from Pordenone. He was nicknamed lo Spaccafumo and Nievo tells about him: “After being in open conflict with the nearby authorities, he earned the glory of such a nickname for how he ran when they were chasing him”. The Spaccafumo sweet is very rich, with dried figs, raisins, nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, almonds, kumquats and honey.

In Barga (Lucca) the typical product is the chestnut. Giovanni Pascoli dedicated a poem to this autumn fruit, to remember how you could hear the pot grumbling on the fire in the poor houses of farmers: the chestnut tree gives men something to feed them and to animals a tepid bed made of leaves.

The great Latin poet Horace, who was born in Venosa (Potenza), celebrated instead the Aglianico del Vulture: measured with brain and drank with heart, said the poet, it brings comfort and joy to life. It has a delicate violet scent and a ruby colour that turns into orange reflections when it ages.

Twenty centuries later it was Tomasi di Lampedusa who praised through the voice of Salina’s Prince in the book The Leopard a food from Sambuca di Sicilia (Agrigento): the minni di virgini, the Virgin’s breasts that – according to the tradition – were prepared by a nun from the Collegio di Maria for the marriage of Sambuca marquise’s son in 1725. The nun was inspired by the shape of the surrounding hills and obtained a dough which she filled with heavy cream, chocolate and zuccata (candied pumpkin), covered with icing.