From Swedish sweets to Palermo arancine, here are the traditions in the kitchen for December 13th
“Santa Lucia, the shortest day there is”, says a proverb. And, in fact, the 13 December is known as the shortest day of the year (or the longest night) even if in reality this is no longer the case since, with the transition to the Gregorian calendar, the winter solstice it falls a week later, on December 21st.
Santa Lucia, what to cook on the shortest day there is
Short or long, we always find time to cook and celebrate by making this day magical, especially for i children. It is they in fact who, in the night between 12 and 13 December, eagerly await the arrival of Saint Lucia which, according to legend, will pass from house to house on the back of a donkey leaving treats and gifts to the little ones.
What to prepare special? The traditions in the kitchen linked to Saint Lucia are different and numerous.
Lussekatter, the Swedish sweets of Saint Lucia
December 13th is a very heartfelt holiday in Sweden where it is usual to prepare the Lussekatter, the cats of Saint Lucia: these are soft sweets whose shape resembles the rolled tail of a cat, characterized by an unmistakable aroma of saffron, a spice that with its yellow color illuminates the darkest night of the year. Here is the recipe to prepare them.
From the eyes of Saint Lucia to the arancine, the traditions for December 13 in Italy
The saint of light is also celebrated in certain areas of Italy: in Puglia it is tradition to do the eyes of Saint Lucia, little ones taralli to wine covered with a sugar glaze, a preparation that we explain here with some tips for children to participate.
In Sicily, in Palermo, Santa Lucia is the day of the arancine. Popular tradition dictates that, out of devotion, neither bread nor pasta should be eaten throughout the day. All the bakeries in the city are closed and the predominant ones are the fry shops. Also in Palermo, but also in Syracuse, on 13 December and mainly at home, it is customary to taste the sit, an ancient sweet made with boiled wheat with ricotta cream. If you want to know more, here is the recipe to prepare it.