Friday, October 28, 2011

AUTUMN JEWELS

We are coming up to the Tutti i Santi holiday and, on 2nd November, I Morti, when people remember the dead and that means the pastry shops are full of frutti di Martorana like these, which children receive as gifts from relatives who are no longer with them but continue to watch over them:



I like the legend of the origin of frutta di Martorana, so I will tell it again here:

The exquisite "fruits" are made from pasta reale [almond paste] but “marzipan” is a very inadequate translation which does not do justice to the work involved in its making. Legend has it that the first ever batch of Martorana fruit was made on the orders of a certain mother superior, who wanted to impress her Bishop during his visit. So the nuns prepared the “fruit” and hung it from the cloister trees; so “real” did it look that the Bishop declared that a miracle had happened, as all the fruits had appeared in the same season!

8 comments:

Patricia said...

What a lovely thought..."no longer with them but continue to watch over them!"

Bev said...

I didn't know the story behind it. I remember seeing them for the first time a couple years ago and thought it was a crime to bite into it and ruin the art.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Patricia. I do think this festival teaches children that death is a part of life. Hi, Bev. I agree - they are too nbeautiful to eat.

Jenny Woolf said...

I can't get over these wonderful, decorative Sicilian sweets. I was in Sicily once at Easter (my only visit there) and I couldn't get over the cake shops. One contained an entire chocolate cathedral! .

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, Jenny. Yes, they are lovely and they do make fantastic pastry sculptures.

CherryPie said...

They are making my mouth water.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

They are quite something, aren't they, Cherie?

Winchester whisperer said...

Wonderful story!

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