Easter is approaching, and I cannot figure anything better to treat my dear ones than the Italian Easter cake Pastiera. It is the best choice for the coming celebrations because:
1. In fact, it is a living example of an ancient Roman recipe, still prepared today in the area of the city of Naples
2. This recipe was kindly provided to me by A REAL NEAPOLITAN WOMAN!
Several theories try to explain the origins of Pastiera. My preferred one says that this Italian delicacy derived from the ancient Roman ritual cake offered to the goddess Ceres during the Spring festivals in her honor.
Another hypothesis suggests that it is related to a ceremonial type of bread that was used to be shared by the bride and the bridegroom in a traditional patrician Roman marriage celebration. The sweet bread was broken over the head of the bride and the new couple were supposed to gather and eat all the crumbs as a sign of their future common life.
As I have mentioned above, the recipe of Pastiera that you’ll find here is more than original - the lady who presented it to me was born in Naples. Her name is Andreina and today she lives in Catania, Sicily with his husband Vito.
Andreina and Vito are passionate lovers of Sicily and have opened their home and their kitchen for everyone who would like to see, taste, feel…simply enjoy the Sicilian beauties. In their website, Andreina and Vito offer delicious recipes, great stories, and hospitality (you can book your stay in their guest bedroom here),all of them infused with unforgettable Sicilian spirit.
As to the recipe of Pastiera, in her post on February 13, 2016, Andreina shares with us: “As I was visiting an ancient stone mill in Sicily, I was inspired by the scents and colours of the ancient grains and I was brought back to my youth in Naples. Grains have been part of our culture and myths for generations. Sicily was the land of Cerere, goddess of the grain. If I think grain, I can't avoid thinking Pastiera, with its scent of orange zest and fleur d'orange which accompanied my childhood.”
To get the full recipe with step by step instructions, please go here.
This is simply genius!
Thank you Andreina and Vito! I hope to see you soon - in Catania, in your kitchen, eating delightful homemade food, garnished with wine and Sicilian fairy tales.