These #overtheborder from Abruzzo pumpkin fritters have become a family favourite after I was invited on a blog tour to the Aeolian Islands. It’s now super easy to visit the islands from Abruzzo as you can catch the plane from Pescara to Catania in Sicily and then take a boat across turquoise blue seas to these historic volcanic islands, their beauty and wealth have attracted the likes of the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Spanish and Arabs including Redbeard and his followers.
The fritters are from twin-peaked Salina, stunningly gorgeous and made famous by the film Il Postino which was based here. Endemic Aeolian Island winter squash thrives on the island’s salty micro-climate terraces. Their flesh is firmer with a more refined flavour than the Jack ‘O’ Lantern pumpkins associated with Halloween, and a 28 kg squash monster isn’t considered anything out of the ordinary.
“Sfinci ‘i cucuzza, to give these pumpkin fritters their local Aeolian name, were traditionally made for ” Ittata i l’astricu, the construction of the intricate flat roof of Aeolian houses, a special occasion where food and celebration were inseparable.
The roofs were made in layers: first a bed of reeds resting on a series of chestnut beams and then a mixture of lime and rupiddu (lightweight volcanic pebbles). New roofs are no longer built with the same materials. Cement has taken over and there is no party held for cement mixing! But in the past the women would bring baskets of food and sweets and someone would play the tammurieddu (tambourine), encouraging dancing and singing way into the night.”
If you visit Salina, Luisa D’Albora makes these sfinci ‘i cucuzza ‘i mala razza in her restaurant Il Delfino on the shore in Lingua if you ask ahead of time.
Prep time: 1 hour 30 mins
Cook time: 2 mins
Total time: 1 hour 32 mins
With grateful thanks to Libby Lush for her Aeolian Winter Squash photograph, check out her family’s website for a taste and ingredients from Salina and also Susan Lord & Danilo Baroncinio. It is their recipe I have abused and whose text about when these special sweet and savoury fritters were eaten is reproduced with kind thanks from their cookbook – Pani Caliatu: Recipes And Food Lore From Aeolian Kitchens As Told By The Islanders.
These fritters were first tasted on the UNESCO Mirabilia2015 blog tour of the Aeolian Islands
Sam is a very lucky midlife mama to A who is 6 and she works as a self-employed freelance travel and food web content manager and copywriter. She is currently writing the book 'Abruzzo: Folk and Food.
She is the co-founder of the social enterprises: The Abruzzo Blogger Community and Let's Blog Abruzzo.
The Abruzzesi adore their baked fish,(Pesce al Cartoccio), and it…
Stuck with dreary tomatoes instead of a jar of sun-drenched…
Cachi is Italy’s most aesthetically beautiful Autumn fruit. Its soul-stirring…
Cristina lo facciamo?
Sounds awesome! Wish I were eating carbs / sugar!
John Sacchetti Donis- these sound like something you would make!
the sound great – i love sweet and savory – okay it has rosemary and i love rosemary.!