Biancomangiare, a traditional sweet of Modica and Catania

Biancomangiare, a traditional sweet of Modica and Catania

Sicily is a land rich in traditions. The invaders have given us mixtures and a cuisine rich in mixes of flavours, sometimes baroque.

Traditions that pamper the eyes and cheer up family lunches with the well-known “lucullian” meals. A custom that sees us sitting at the table at times that are not in keeping with European customs and that, between a conversation, a story, an anecdote and that familiar spirit that distinguishes us, it sees us get up when we should already be thinking about the next meal. You can imagine that the next meal is skipped!

Yes, Sicily and in particular Catania has a wealth of colours and flavours linked to the territory that should be known all over the world.

An example in summer, when we conclude a meal with the well-known Biancomangiare, a dessert of peasant origin and a dish also of Arab-French origin, especially typical of the ancient county of Modica.

The Modica recipe involves the use of almond milk, while the Ragusa recipe also includes lemon, cinnamon and Hyblean honey.

In Catania, it is the fresh and fragrant dessert of family tradition eaten with a spoon, a reinterpretation of the traditional recipe is uses whole cow's milk, corn starch (which is used as a thickener), sugar and lemon zest just picked from the tree. A must!

Everything is cooked and left to cool, taking on a pudding consistency, and then served on a bed of freshly picked lemon leaves. The secret is to soak the leaves for a few moments in hot water so that they can be more malleable and release all the scent.

Such a poor delicacy, but rich in scents, it can inebriate the senses!

For all the people of Catania, the blancmange is the memory linked to childhood, to homemade desserts ... the dessert that tastes like the hearth. But also the only dessert we were allowed to eat when we were convalescing and we ate it hot like a cream ...

With the same system, the ‘spoon’ dessert has other variants that are called Frost - they use  lemon, watermelon, cinnamon, which however see the use of water instead of milk and come in different forms depending on the season.

The wildest is the one decorated with chopped pistachios, almond flakes and cinnamon ... an invitation to a "meet again" for all those travellers discovering Sicily, who bring back with them a rich experiential holiday of aromas and flavours!


Written by:
Paola F. J. Torrisi

Paola is the founder of Take it Slowly. She graduated in Foreign Languages ​​and Literature, and entered the world of tourism immediately becoming interested in the incoming tourism of Sicily, a...

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