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Cuddurune: Sicilian fried bread; a pre-dinner treat in the Madonie Mountains

Posted by Suzanne on 10 Jul 2015

A fortnight or so ago I wrote of a slow evening enjoying dinner on a terrace in the majestic Madonie Mountains just outside of Polizzi Generosa.

And, I said then that I would tell a little more about the delicious simple food we ate that mid -June night when the evening light of the Madonie was gentle and soft.


A long table

We sat at a long table, set for about 16 people which stretched along a terrace draped with creepers.

And we enjoyed frittata (made with the dozen or so fresh eggs brought by a guest), roasted peppers torn into strips and finished with olive oil and salt, pork and fennel sausages, a sandwich made with freshly baked bread sprinkled with olive oil and filled with anchovies, large green olives and blocks of local cheeses.


The bread 

Dinner was prepared by three fabulous Sicilian cooks from Polizzi: Donata, Giuseppina and Gandofla; all passionate about Sicilian food, its traditions and a long table filled with lively guests.

As I walked up the steps to Gandolfa’s country house Giuseppina was standing at the mouth of the open wood fired oven. (This was the first time that I had met them both).

She was paddling the bread loaves and wrapping the ready ones, golden and smelling warm, in a blue check cloth. (The sandwiches filled with anchovies were made from this mountain bread.)


Cuddurune: I Dolci dei Poveri

It was the utter delight of Cuddurunefreshly fried donut like Sicilian pastry sprinkled with fine sugar or salt and served before dinner that was such an unexpected treat.

Gandolfa and Donata pulled small handfuls of prepared, soft elastic dough from a deep bowl near the gas ring in the outdoor kitchen open to the Madonie sky.

The pieces of dough, flattened and dropped into bubbling hot oil were turned as they sizzled and browned.

In minutes we were served Cuddurune

Long known as one of I Dolci dei Poveri - the sweets of the poor; the Cuddurune were scrumptious: soft, lightly golden and warm; made from flour, water, yeast, oil, a spoonful of sugar and a few grams of salt.

And, when sprinkled with fine caster sugar, they made a wonderful pre dinner treat; a simple indulgence.

I plan to cook Cuddurune in the next few weeks and I have an authentic recipe from one of the Sicilian cooks who inspired me that night in the Madonie Mountains.




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