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The cuddureddi cini, Christmas sweets

Cuddureddi cini

As for the nacatuli in the Aeolian Islands, the cuddureddi cini are those sweets that absolutely cannot be missing on the tables of us Pachinesi during Christmas time.

Their name comes from cuddura, which derives from the Greek language and means ‘crown’. And the cuddura is a braided donut that exists in both a sweet and savory version.

According to the legend, the donut shape was created to meet the needs of wayfarers and shepherds, who could put it in their arm or stick and take it with them during their travels. Some people say it was the castellans living in medieval fortresses during the Sicilian Vespers of 1282 who invented the crown shape. However, according to another theory, the cuddure derive from a typical Roman bread in the form of a donut. I refer to the buccellatum.

What is the filling of the cuddureddi cini?

Depending on the place of production, cuddureddi can have different names, shapes, and ingredients. For example, in my family, we prefer the stick shape or the S shape. Preparing the cuddureddi requires time and, above all, a lot of patience. Only once I tried my hand at their preparation and working the biscuit dough and then closing it on itself with sticky hands due to the dough for the filling is not a simple operation. If you add the fact that my mom, at that time, decided to cook them in industrial quantities so that we could share them with friends and relatives, then you understand for yourself that preparing cuddureddi requires a lot of patience. That is why, every year, we look forward to cuddureddi made by Aunt Cettina. Thanks aunty ❤️ 

I told you the filling is sticky. Yes, because the ingredients we use are mustata (or Sicilian mustard based on grape must), cooked wine, quince jam and orange jam, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and honey. Some people also add chocolate, dried figs, and cinnamon. In short, whoever has more, more!

All the cuddureddi of Sicily…

There is, however, one thing that unites all the cuddureddi of Sicily: the lining of the outer shell.

Donuts or sticks, decorated with powdered sugar or colored sugar sprinkles, the cuddureddi cini can conquer all palates. Have they already succeeded with yours? If you haven’t tasted them yet, I recommend you to accompany them with Zibibbo or vin santo  🍷 . If you don’t like alcoholic beverages, you can always choose tea. Of course, you can enjoy them without any accompaniment. I assure you that the cuddureddi cini are like cherries. One leads to the other! And they keep well for many days.


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