Cassatelle of Sant'Agata (Minnuzzi re Sant'Agata)
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Cassatelle of Sant'Agata (Minnuzzi re Sant'Agata)


La cassatella of Sant'Agata (minnuzzi ri sant'Àjita o re Virgini in Sicilian) is a traditional dessert from Catania, which is made during the feast of Sant'Agata.

According to what was inferred by Emanuele Ciaceri, the feast of Sant'Agata would originate in many of its parts from the Isidean cults. One of the elements of greatest interest to the scholar is precisely the sweet called minnuzza by Virgini, which would reproduce the breast of the goddess Isis in her role of mother goddess.

Another parallel is found in the cults of the Eleusinian mysteries, where on the occasion of the Demetrian rites it was customary to consume sweet cakes whose appearance re-proposed the breast of the goddess Demeter, protector of the crops and in turn also considered mother goddess. Both cults, the Isidean one and the Demetrian one, are documented in Catania both by written sources and by archaeological finds; these cults have influenced, where rather they have not been completely absorbed, the Agatine religious festivities, so the sweet dough representing the fertility of mother earth takes on the symbolic value of the act of martyrdom suffered by the Catania saint from whom a breast was amputated.

The cassatella di Sant'Agata is in fact a small Sicilian cassata in the shape of small breasts.

These are round-shaped sweets made with sponge cake soaked in rosolio and stuffed with ricotta, chocolate drops and candied fruit. On the outside they are covered in white icing and finished with a candied cherry on top. Ricotta is made strictly with sheep's milk.


Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Information contributions: Web, Region of Sicily

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