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Cuccìa

Cuccìa is a traditional, primarily Sicilian dish containing boiled wheatberries and sugar, which is eaten on December 13, the feast day of Saint Lucy, the patron saint of Syracuse. The dish is consumed in Sicily and in isolated pockets of Southern Italy, as well as their communities abroad. It commemorates the relief from a food shortage in Sicily and the unexpected arrival of a cargo of wheat, which tradition says arrived in the port of Palermo on Saint Lucy's Feast in 1646. According to custom, bread should not be eaten on December 13; cuccìa should be the only source of wheat, and the primary source of nourishment for the day.

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Hello all! Here is a recipe my family makes every St. Lucy's Day (December 13). Our heritage is from the Sicilian region of Italy, and we love to keep up with certain traditions like this:) My Nana (Dad's mom) used to make it for my dad, and then he helped me figure it out the right flavors from his memories. Enjoy! Ingredients: 3/4 cup barley (dry) 3 1/2 cups water 2 (15oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 tablespoons honey or agave 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats (dry) Extra 1 3/4 cups water To serve: ricotta/cottage cheese + cinnamon (for sweetness) OR roasted veggies (for savoriness) Directions: 1) Combine barley and first amount of water in a pot on the stove; bring to a boil and then tilt a lid on top and let cook for about an hour 2) Add chickpeas and honey (or agave); bring back to a boil under a closed lid. Once boiling, tilt lid and let it roll for about 30 minutes. 3) Add oats and last amount of water-cook until water is mostly gone Serves 6-8

Contributed by Samantha Regis

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