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Il lussuoso Natale dei Viceré

The luxurious Christmas of the viceroys

Christmas of the viceroys was quite unique

Christmas of the viceroys and the Sicilian aristocracy in general was quite unique: it started with luxurious buildings full of lights and decorated for the occasion; then gold cutlery, objects made of the finest porcelain and tablecloths embroidered with a centuries-old craftsmanship, stood out on the laid tables.

Nobles in Sicily were particularly keen on receiving guests, treating them as best as they could. This cult was expressed not only through the beauty of each room hosting the guests, but above all in the preparation of traditional dishes typical of Sicily and of Sicilian Christmas.

Christmas traditions are not found exclusively at the table, in fact, the custom of the nativity scene is particularly felt in Sicily, so worth of mentioning are also the living nativity scenes, represented in various Sicilian provinces. Markets and fairs often revive the Christmas atmosphere; another custom characteristic of this wonderful land are card games and bingo, able to transform the after meal into a moment of joy and conviviality.

Christmas of the viceroys was a wonderful combination of ancient traditions

Christmas of the viceroys was a wonderful combination of ancient traditions wisely intertwined, and even the prolonged lunches and dinners were the best time for having fun, playing games and listening to the wonderful stories that guests were eager to tell.

More than anything else during Christmas, in the palaces of the aristocracy, delicacies and typical Sicilian specialties reigned on the tables, such as meat dishes, appetizers of all kinds, fried cod, baked pasta. For centuries, the Christmas tradition required exquisite desserts such as cassata and cannoli, nougat, buccellato (shortcrust pastry filled with figs, chocolate and dried fruit), taking the scene on the nobles’ tables. Sicilian Christmas sweets were rich in local ingredients, representing the true excellence of our land; and once again, we find almonds, honey, ricotta cheese and citrus fruits. Other ingredients adding flavour and a touch of uniqueness were pistachios, citrus peel and cinnamon.

Viceré Sicily is in an ongoing search for the roots and the true essence of Sicilian traditions, in order to revive the triumph of the nobility and enhance the unique flavours that our land has kept on giving us for centuries.

 

 

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