lunedì 17 novembre 2008

The bread in Palermo

In Italiano su Agave blog

Bread for people from Palermo is the protagonist of the table.

It is so sacred that they also offered and headed a church to the bakers (San Isidoro Agricola “dei Fornai”).

Is nearly unthinkable eating something without accompany it with the bread, the seasonings are called "companatico, something" that is added to bread ("pane"), which comes before everything. Even today the habit of some mothers (like mine), when the family is at the table to reassure everyone by saying that "there is bread."

In Palermo the bread is eaten fresh (even say hot). Is possible to see in front of the bakers, just at lunch or dinner, group of people who wait, the more careful observer will note that the benches of the bakers are still full.
What do they expect? That the bread leaves the oven. They want the bread to be burning hot hands. Even before arriving home, in secret (because that is not good education, but all do it) breaking the “cozzitello” (the end of the bread) and eat burning the mouth but with much satisfaction.

What is the bread that remains? Most will be grated to season something (meat rolls, swordfish, sardines, eggplant, or to make meatballs , or is used for omelettes, or mixed with cheese and parsley For breaded meat), the breadcrumbs can also "atturrare" toast, to season many dishes of pasta (with broccoli, sardines, anchovies etc). The bread is sliced to make bruschetta (with tomato, garlic and oil), or the crumb is bathed in water or milk to make meatballs (without meat)to fry.

The breadcrumbs can be kept in the fridge mixed with laurel leaves.

The habit of eating freshly baked bread, it is also for the type of dough that is used in Palermo. In fact, our good bread crispy outside and soft inside, from a variety of forms decorated by Cimino (sesame), after a few hours becomes rubbery and almost inedible, unlike the so-called bread of country that more time passes the more it becomes good.

In Palermo you can find the bread at all hours of day and in Sunday when most of the bakeries are closed. No problem! Sundays or public holidays, in every street corner there are the white vans selling strands of bread from Monreale or Molara, a good diversion (excellent with nutella!).

In Palermo we waive the bread only one day a year, Saint Lucia, the penalty is become blind(but I will tell this story the next month), However, on this day we eat Arancino, potatoes, sweet ricotta. And our eyes are also guaranteed.

A particular type of bread ("cricchi" with seeds of wild fennel) is done for the day of St. Joseph, take by bakers in churches, blessed and offered to parishioners.

The bakeries not only sells bread, but also pizza, sfincione,

bread with olives, sweets, treccine (brioches intertwined and covered with sugar), "millefoglie" (bread with raisins covered with sugar).

The bread is fundamental to the famous sandwich with panelle and the spleen, or cunsato.

Having said all this, is clear because in Palermo to define a good person we say “E’ un pezzu ri pani” “is a piece of bread”.

And now the most typical: until recently the bread is not sold by weight (according to national regulations), but the format, now also entered into force the law!

PISTULUNI: bread-shaped elongated, cheap
MAFALDA and MAFALDINA: white bread flour braided
TORCIGLIATO OR STRONG BEER: white bread flour twisted. The first well-cooked, the second largest soft. SIGNORINI: big crunchy breadsticks.
PARIGINO: Similar to sfilatino.
PIZZIATO: similar to Parigino, more crunchy
SCALETTA: Similar to Mafalda. (Scalettina small format).
TOSCANINO: similar to Parigino, more thinner.
SEMPREFRESCHI: oval and soft
BOCCONCINI: small semprefreschi