Sicily’s Breast Shaped Pastry

When you see this pastry show up in every pasticceria in Sicily, you know February is upon us. Minna di Sant’Agata (or Minna di Sant’Aita in Sicilian), or Saint Agatha’s Breast, is made and eaten in honor of the Sant’Agata, Catania’s patroness. The breast-shaped pastry represents the virgin martyr who is the patron saint of bakers, earthquakes, wet nurses, martyrs, and breast cancer patients. Her feast, which is observed annually from February 3 to 5 is intense and feverish. Cittadini devoted to Agata practice three days of rituals to recall the virgin’s strength and fortitude during 251 AD, when she was subjected to brutal torture that included mutilating her breasts because she refused the advances of the Roman prefect of the region.

Viva Sant’Agata!