Sweet wines enjoys great popularity and favor as rare and precious grape nectars. They are considered to be genuine examples of excellence in wine, to be savored slowly, so much so that they have earned the name of “meditation wines”, capable of giving unforgettable olfactory and taste sensations. Either alone, with dried fruit and dark chocolate to pamper yourself, accompanied with small pastries after a meal, or to embrace a triumph of sweets at the end of a meal on a festive day, often very fragrant and aromatic, they epitomize the finishing touch to a special day. Their main feature is the ability to kindle a multitude of sensations: raisins, jam, and white flowers, warm, inviting, and very persistent scents, as well as fruity, fragrant and ethereal tastes.
Like every other wine, wines for after meals are also strongly rooted in the earth. They identify and distinguish it uniquely and are an essential element to appreciate a land while respecting its cuisine, tastes and most ancient and genuine traditions. Among the many peoples who have conquered the island, the Arabs have left the most traces, introducing products such as pistachios, cinnamon, sugar, and almond paste, which is widely used in the preparation of many sweets. However, traditional Sicilian pastry is unique, even when it uses simple ingredients, since the most ancient traditional sweets have honey as their sole ingredient.
Menfi’s rural community still preserves its traditions when it comes to sweets, as well as for folk, religious and family festivals. Easter, Christmas, Saint Joseph, and Saint Lucia are the main festivals, and an opportunity to prepare a variety of cakes, cookies and breads at home, linked to the religious meaning of the holiday, prepared according to ancient agropastoral traditions. Ritual breads, made of flour, eggs, sugar, marzipan and ricotta are genuine specialties that are given different shapes depending on the religious symbols of reference. On December 13th, it is a tradition not to eat bread or pasta during the day, but cuccìa, a dessert made from boiled wheat and ricotta. For the feast of St. Joseph, sfinci are prepared, while nucatoli, stelle and pasticciotti filled with preserves are made for Christmas. At Easter you have cannoli, ricotta cheese rote, ravioli, pignolata, and cannileri.
Whether fried or baked, a spoon dessert, with fruit, nuts, sweetened sheep ricotta, honey or chocolate, Menfi’s sweets are a genuine triumph for the eyes and the palate, but also a tribute to the skilful hands who lovingly prepare them.It is easy to imagine Menfi’s kitchens on holidays, teeming with several generations of women who, with enthusiasm and love, bake the tummali, i.e., soufflés made with ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar and almonds; fry rote, namely light and crunchy rolled pastries made of eggs, flour, milk and sugar filled with ricotta cheese; roll up the ovu ‘ncannulato, which is a simple omelette of eggs, filled with ricotta cheese, sugar and lemon zest. And they roll out the dough and shape and fry sublime sweet ravioli with ricotta cheese and sugar, and knead together almonds, honey, orange peels and dried figs to make almond pastries and nucatoli.
Perfect to pair with desserts and especially traditional Sicilian pastries, Mandrarossa Caladeitufi is especially seducing. A late harvest DOC wine made from Chardonnay grapes grown in a vineyard overlooking Menfi’s turquoise waters from which it takes its name. The land is kissed by the sun, cooled by the sea breeze and wrapped by the African winds, while its different soils alternate and blend together. For all these reasons, the vineyard is extraordinarily fertile. Based on the vision by which producing according to the rhythm of nature means producing better, this wine is the result of the careful selection and care of each cluster of grapes. It is a wine that conveys warm, soft and caressing sensations, golden in color, with a rich composition and intense aromas. A meditation wine to be tasted especially with unleavened sweets, such as dessert pastries, marzipan as well as pastries filled with ricotta cheese. The complexity of Mandrarossa Caladeitufi and the taste of Sicilian sweets are extreme and overwhelming, capable of filling the palate and imagination, inspiring a powerful wave of emotions.
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