Let's have a walk around Sicily
La frutta martorana
by Sara Favarò
Hello I am in Vicari by a friend’s house and we are here to prepare the Pasta Reale better known as Martorana fruit, which in Sicily is made for All Souls’ Day, On November 2.
This Sicilian sweet is famous all over the world.
The essential element are almonds, the famous Sicilian almonds, the very good Sicilian almonds.
According to tradition, The Martorana fruit was born because the nuns of the Monastery of Martorana, in Palermo, to replace the fruits they had collected from the trees of their garden, just before the visit of the Bishop, they put some new ones, made with almond flour and sugar, in order to embellish the garden.
I am with Marcello Maniaci, chef, who showed us the traditional process of preparing Martorana fruit.
(Chef Maniaci): “It is a cold process, there is no cooking. You combine the almond flour with powdered sugar and then you knead it with water and honey, which replaces the glucose”.
4.40 When we harvest the almonds we remove the skin and they are put out to dry. Then we take ucivu, that is the seed of the almond and we blanch it in order to remove the skin that covers it.
The almonds in this way become white, symbol of purity and candor, and that is why the wedding sugared almonds candies are made with almonds, as a symbol of love, of purity.
Martorana fruit is made with almond flour, honey, water and icing sugar.
After this mixture is put into these molds that have the most diverse forms: nuts, prickly pears, lemons, peaches, cherries … and even fish!
And here is a corncob-shaped martorana fruit.
The final touch is missing: the coloring.
And here it is, completed with food coloring, the delicious Martorana fruit!
Happy All Souls’ Day to everybody with Sicilian Martorana fruit that you can eat all year round.
Until next time!
Author: Sara Favarò (Cultural Department Splendid Sicily)