The cooking in Bronte is traditionally poor, of clear peasant
inspiration, made with ingredients simple and natural, but, because of this,
results rich of ancient, genuine flavors and of dishes nowadays forgotten.
It is the expression of an ancient and original culture,
certainly peasant culture, often dictated by the calendar (Saint Joseph, Saint
Nicolas, Holy Friday, Thursday grass, …) or the seasons, fruit of a poor
economy, based on the cultivation of cereals, on sheep farming and few other
The essential ingredients of sweets and cooking come directly from the local territory: almonds, pistachio, pulses, asparagus,
prickly pears, mushrooms, vegetables, olive oil, milk.
(green or dried) represent the majority of
first courses: broad beans, chickpeas, beans, peas and lentils are cooked and
used in many ways (pasta with beans, lentils and chickpeas or with broccoli,
porridge chickpeas' flour, …).
Up to few years ago, on Saint Nicolas holiday, even
wheat, boiled and dressed with olive oil, was a traditional dish in
the kitchens of the farmers of Bronte.
The peasant tradition has left also very many dishes based
on wild vegetables as the minestra maritata (mixed vegetables
picked in the fields and fried with garlic and chilly), fried cauricelli
(wild, white mustard), or pasta with wild fennel.
Other common dishes are grilled mushroom of ferra (many varieties of
mushrooms grow in the woods of Bronte), baked onions and grilled peppers.
Typical and traditional dishes present in
the brontese cuisine are:
The pennette al pistacchio
(the fruit is crushed and fried with onion, diced ham, cream,
milk, butter and other ingredients).
During these last years
the pistachio has become nearly a protagonist of brontese
cooking, above all in the preparation of first course dishes
(besides the pennette, is also used with filled
ravioli, the home made pasta with flour and crushed pistachios
("tagghiarini" o tagliatelle) and the pesto).