Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Typical Italian Sweets

All Saints Day is celebrated on November 1 around the world the. It is a big celebration for Christianity, followed by November 2, the All Souls Day, a Christian event that traces its roots in ancient times.
Talking about seasonal cooking, every Italian region has tied these two celebrations to the table. For the most part these are recipes based on seasonal produce such as pumpkin, chestnuts, cabbage, pork, vegetables - especially beans and peas and and dried fruit. In Liguria, the custom is to eat chicken for All Saints to live up to the proverb "All Saints without beak, Christmas will be poor", probably tied to the fact that if you didn't have chicken to eat on All Saints day, by the end of December you would have had little food on your table.
The desserts, however, are certainly the most famous ritual food: in fact, each region has its typical sweet with a name recalling the celebrations.

Bustrengolo from Umbria
Ingredients: 350 g of corn flour, 100 grams of sugar, 50 grams of pine nuts, 100 g of raisins, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 pinch of salt, 2 apples

Boil a large pot with 1 quart of salted water and add the flour as to make a polenta. Add the oil and mix together. Cook for about twenty minutes, then add the sliced apples, raisins, pine nuts and the sugar. Remove from heat and pour the mixture, which should be rather soft, on a buttered cake mold in a layer about 3 cm thick. Bake in a heated oven at 180 degrees and cook for about half an hour.
It should be eaten cold.

Colva from Puglia
In Puglia, particularly in the areas of Foggia and Barletta, it is typical of the Day of the Dead. The preparation of this cake is made of wheat and pomegranate.

The kernels of a pomegranate, 1 can cooked corn, 150 grams of chopped walnuts, 150 grams of chopped almonds, white grapes, 100 g dark chocolate, sufficient mulled wine

Drain well the cooked wheat and place it in a bowl. Mix it with the pomegranate seeds, walnuts, almonds, the seeded and peeled grapes, chopped dark chocolate and add just enough mulled wine to mix all the ingredients into a smooth mixture. Serve in bowls.

Castagnaccio from Tuscany (for 6 people)
400 g of chestnut flour, Enough water, enough olive oil, 30 grams of raisins (soaked in warm water), 30 g of pine nuts, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon rosemary

In a bowl mix the water with chestnut flour and sugar stirring with a whisk to prevent lumps. Your batter consistency should be quite liquid. Oil a cake mold of 25 cm in diameter with extra virgin olive oil and pour the mixture, pour on top a thin line of olive oil sufficing for two table spoons and finally sprinkle with pine nuts, raisins and rosemary. Bake in a heated oven at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes until the surface becomes dry and opposes resistance when pressed with a finger.

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