Durum wheat

The fame of Sicilian durum wheat goes back to the Greek domination of Sicily and during Roman times the island even gained the title of "granary of Rome". The natural fertile Sicilian soil makes it an ideal place for the cultivation of cereals and historians claim that between 1500 and 1750 the island exported between 50 and 60,000 tons of wheat to the world, with a yield per hectare of almost ten times what was sown, which was an incredible result for those days. Wheat is still used for the preparation of various characteristic breads, which differ in shape and dough from town to town. A typical bread recipe of the South-Eastern area requires durum wheat flour and sourdough (criscenti). In certain areas of Sicily wheat is also used as "cuccia", as it is called, is prepared by simply boiling the grains and have it either as a soup or as a dessert with honey. In the South-West, in the area of Trapani, they make couscous and the famous dish Couscous alla Trapanese is served with fish . There are also a countless variety of dishes made with flour that are old descendants of pizza, flat breads (focacce) and fritters (fritelle), such as vastedde, sfinci, sfinciuni, etc. In the South-East scacci, caitti, pastizza and mpanate are traditional preparations often linked to religious festivities. They are prepared with a bread dough thinly rolled which creates a kind of “envelope” that can contain various fillings, for example ricotta cheese, vegetables, meat, fish, pasta, etc.