christmas desserts

Traditional Sicilian Christmas desserts

What are the must-haves at the table during Christmas holidays? Here you are three examples, although there is a great choice in Sicily.


The name comes from the French croquer which means to creak, because when you eat it a crunch is heard. Like most of the desserts of Sicily the Croccante is probably a trace of the Arab domination. The recipe is very easy. There are only two ingredients, honey or sugar and dried fruit usually almonds, but there are also other varieties with hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts or even popcorn.


There are different types of Buccellato; for example in Palermo there are:

Ammara-panza is a poor Buccellato just to fill your stomach. The shortcrust pastry can be filled with almonds, candied pumpkin and pieces of chocolate or with the traditional mixture of dried figs with candied fruit and pieces of chocolate.

Casereccio is a rich Buccellato of pastry shop covered with icing, powdered sugar or candied fruit.

Nucàtuli or Nacàtoli

This term derives from the Latin nucatus, which means seasoned with walnuts. But it may also come from the Arabic naqal, which means dried fruit. They are usually called Nucatoli with variations all around Sicily. The Nucatoli are “S” shaped biscuits whose openings allow to see the inner mixture of almonds, walnuts, dried figs, quince and honey enriched with many spices. This blend tastes delicious!

Enjoy your meal!

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Giuseppe Ragusa


3AS – Liceo G. Galilei Spadafora, indirizzo Scienze Applicate


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