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Wheat Pastiera

History
Its origins are linked to a legend whose protagonist is the syren Partenope. According to the legend, she used to live in the Gulf of Naples and, each spring, used to emerge from the waters to sing for the people of the gulf. One year, her singing was so extraordinary that everybody ran to the sea and brought her gifts. They brought her flour, that is the strength and richness of the countryside, ricotta from the local shepherds, eggs as the symbol of new life, common wheat boiled in milk representing the two realms of nature, orange blossom water representing the perfumes of the earth, spices to honor the farthest people of the world, and sugar representing the sweet song of the syren. The latter, happy to receive so many gifts, put them at the foot of the gods, who mixed all the ingredients and transformed them into the first Pastiera. What's real in this fascinating legend is without a doubt its link to spring: as a matter of fact, in the past Pastiera was prepared on the occasion of the ancient pagan feasts celebrating the return of spring. The modern version was prepared by the nuns of the very ancient Monastery of San Gregorio Armeno, who wanted to celebrate the Resurrection with a symbology combining the perfume of the orange blossoms of the monastery garden with the white ricotta, wheat, and eggs, symbol of the new life, mixed flower water recalling spring, cedar and Asiatic spices. The nuns used to prepare Pastiera at Easter for the noble and rich people. It must be prepared a little in advance, not after Holy Thursday or Friday, so that it can be left standing and the ingredients can mix well.

Production Area
All the Park Municipalities.

Description
Pastiera is the most characteristic Easter sweet of Naples: it is very famous all over the world and ever-present at table in Campania. It consists of a base of short pastry filled with a mixture of ricotta cheese, sugar, lard, cooked durum wheat, eggs, mixed flower water, and vanilla. Its upper part is decorated with the remaining short pastry cut into thin strips distributed to form lozenges. Pastiera is then baked in the oven and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

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