Live Nativity Scenes In Sicily

Many towns in Sicily annually create elaborate live nativity scenes like this one I saw in 2019 in Custonaci (Trapani Province). These dioramas featuring townspeople acting out iconic moments and everyday activities from past times create a sense of wonder. Presepe Vivente are a reason to visit Sicily during Christmas. (In the future, when it’s…

Cuccidati: Sicilian Christmas Cookies

Cuccidati, pictured, are traditional Sicilian cookies stuffed with dried fig filling. Associated with Christmas, both professional and home bakers make them, and some are more elaborately decorated than others. The filling is made with (This is a common recipe, but not all are exactly the same.) chopped dried figs, pumpkin jam, honey, raisins, almonds, orange…

Sicilian Style Panettone And Pandoro

Although panettone and pandoro, Italian Christmas breads/cakes, originated in northern Italy, there are some outstanding ones made in Sicily: Specifically in Castelbuono (Palermo province) in the Madonie mountains and in Belpasso (Catania province) at the southern foot of Mount Etna. I can’t wait to open my panettone from Castelbuono (and heat it in the oven)…

Sicilian Christmas Cookies

Pastries made with filling of chopped dried figs, pumpkin jam, honey, raisins, almonds, orange rind, cinnamon, and Marsala wine are closely associated with Christmas in Sicily. There is a larger, round, cake-like pastry called buccellato, which is also made in an elaborate cookie-sized version known as buccellati. Meanwhile, cuccidati, pictured here, are their sister. They…