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September 04, 2009


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Paula Aiello

What is the name of those long brown cookies on the left of the photo? My dad's aunt used to make those all the time but she always made them too dry (my cousin and I had a name for them that I won't post). When made well, they are great. The others I don't recognize. Have you found any "nugatoli" or are they just for Christmas? Are they made as tooth-breakingly hard there as my grandfather made them? (Reading this, you'd think I didn't like Sicilian sweets, but there are some I adore!!!)

Paula Aiello

btw - have you read or seen "Il gattopardo (The Leopard)"? By Lampedusa - generally based on his ancestors. I read it a few months ago and I'm curious about how it compares to current Sicily.
Also, great photos, as usual.

Food Lover Kathy

Paula--I'll check on the name of the long brown cookies. These are certainly not too dry, as they are mostly almond paste--they are really sweet though. I haven't found "nugatoli." I'm in Sicily now.....wasn't your grandfather from the Milano area? I'll ask for nugatoli here and see what happens. I keep asking for "cuccidati" (which my grandmother made for Christmas) and am always corrected because that is Sicilian dialect, and I guess it is not used anymore.....they are now called "bucelati."
I haven't read "il gattopardo" but I'll look for it....just finished reading "The Food of Love" by Anthony Capella...it was a great food journey and love story set in Rome.


I'm enjoying your travels and comments. Can't wait to see you.

Jozee Pizzurro

When visiting my cousin Toto in Palermo many years ago, I took a bus trip to Agrigento. He and my Zia Cherubina (a nun) didn't want me to go as they feared for my safety. They were the perfect tour guides. Going to the post office, fish market, the catacombs, etc. I decided to give them a quiet day alone, so off I ventured alone to Agrigento. I bought some biscotti and ate them while watching two men digging for ancient treasures.
Toto and Zia were at the bus station in Palermo 2 hours before the scheduled arrival. The relieved look on their faces told me how worried they were about me. Ah, Italians, are worried genes inherited?

Paula Aiello

Just a quick note on the nugatoli (forget about looking for them) ... my grandfather who made them was the one from Sicily (Isola delle Femmine). My mother's side (the Luonis) were from the north. I'm a mixed breed.

Food Lover Kathy

Paula--Every time I see the cookie you asked about, I ask what the name of the cookie is. I get the same response of "biscotti" and a chuckle afterwards. The chuckle is because it's a weird question and/or they don't know the answer. But, one of my cousins, who also laughed at the question, said the name "might be regina." She wasn't sure though.

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