History

 

Sicily irradiates tradition. There are more festivities throughout the year than anywhere else.

People are proud of their history, and especially their food. Every day is a celebration in the southern Italian island, but some dates are particularly special, and there’s one around the corner.

Siracusa, a town with great historical importance on the southwestern coast of Sicily, is getting ready for one of the biggest celebrations in the Sicilian calendar: La Festa di Santa Lucia, or Saint Lucy’s feast day. 

December 13th marks the beginning of a week-long festival, an all-out party around Sicily and all the Catholic world. The story behind the celebration is one worth telling. 

Lucia was a wealthy young girl living in Syracuse during the Roman Empire. She was to be married to a man, but she refused by orders of Christ himself, who asked for her devotion. 

Officials accused the girl of being Christian and was sent to her death, not before getting her eyes taken by her captors. She was killed, but Christ restored her eyes as a sign of faith.

 

Santa Lucia is the patron of the blind, but she is something more significant, she’s the bearer of light.

This wasn’t Saint Lucy’s last miracle. The year was 1646, and the city of Palermo was suffering a terrible famine, but despair ended on Santa Lucia day when a ship arrived with a full cargo of whole wheat.

Tradition

 

To commemorate the lack of wheat flour during the famine, no one prepares bread or wheat pasta during the festival, nothing made from flour but the deliciously sweet whole-grain wheat berries, rice, and chickpeas.

People prepare specialty dishes like arancini, two-bite rice balls stuffed with Bolognese, peas, and other seasonings; utterly satisfying. Panelle, chickpea flour pancakes, are another luscious preparation available during the feast; seasoned with lemon, salt, and pepper, they’re truly special treat.

Perhaps nothing is so unique than another festival dish: the cuccia, a silky wheat berry and ricotta porridge. A delicious dessert topped with cinnamon or shaved chocolate that reminds the world that Sicilian desserts are amongst the best in the world.

 

 

Sicilians know that there’s no celebration without great food, even if far from home. The tradition of making Saint Lucy’s special dishes has traveled far thanks to dedicated pasta makers and Sicilian cooks abroad, ambassadors of their land, and food traditions.

 

How do we celebrate it?

 

Simone Usenato and Vincenzo Patti, the master pasta makers behind Vicio Il Mastro Pastaio in the Netherlands, celebrate Santa Lucia the only way they know, cooking the special occasion delicacies with authentic recipes, and uttermost ingredients.

The seasonal specialties, arancine, panelle and cuccia, complement the cook’s genuine Sicilian gastronomic offer — the best way to taste Sicilian food outside the island.

Enjoy a real Sicilian dinner, handmade pasta, and classic, unique dishes with your friends and family. It’s an indulgence suitable for the holiday season. Let’s celebrate Saint Lucy together!

You can now order arancine from our website. They will be delivered on the 13th of December. Order now!

 

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