If you love sweets, you probably identified yourself with the following expression at least once:

it doesn’t matter how much you ate, there’s always room for dessert, because sweet things don’t go to the stomach, but straight to the heart

Castelbuono – being its gastronomic offer so wide and varied – draws its own philosophy out of this, and gives a great deal of care and attention to its sweets production. The result is a combination of ancient recipes that come from tradition and a desire for innovation and discovery, born from talent and curiosity (a mix that is especially successful in our little town).

We’d like to recommend some guideline, an itinerary dedicated to a sweetest Castelbuono, to discover its many delights, a kind of food that goes “straight to the heart” and that satisfies you well beyond your stomach (without neglecting it, mind you).

Index

Fiasconaro

“Nero sublime” – Panettone Fiasconaro

If talking of sweets we must, no other place is as perfect a starting point as Castelbuono’s top company in this very field. Afterall, if we think of Castelbuono, our mind lands with no effort on the Fiasconaro company and its delicious panettoni.

I tre fratelli Fiasconaro (da sx, Martino, Nicola e Fausto) donano una colomba a Papa Francesco. 
© foto: L'Osservatore Romano
Fiasconaro brothers (from left, Martino, Nicola e Fausto) while they donate a dove-Easter to Pope Francis.
© photo: L’Osservatore Romano

More than anything else, they truly are the “food for the heart”, pride of Castelbuono and of all Sicily: heart of a family, the Fiasconaro, that with passion, hard work and a taste for discovery has been carrying on their production for almost 70 years.

Heart – geographical one – of a whole town and its people, with its location in Piazza Margherita, the center – the very heart – of the community.

Heart of Sicily itself, one of its flagships, that promotes and exports its colours and flavours worldwide. 

When entering Fiasconaro, you will find yourselves surrounded by such delicious choices, you won’t know where to start.

Naselli

Now, since we find ourselves on the main square – Piazza Margherita – we strongly suggest that you let yourselves be tempted by another sweet corner: the Naselli Bar, where the young and talented Salvatore Naselli, a skillful ice-cream maker, has found the perfect breeding ground to unleash his creativity. Here, you can try the best ice-creams and granitas you’ve ever had, made with natural ingredients combined in different flavours, sometimes traditional, sometimes more unusual and intriguing. A small taste will be enough: you will be transported into a world of evocative flavours, and you will think – in every way – “This is the Sicily I like best!”

Questa immagine ha l'attributo alt vuoto; il nome del file è naselli-.jpg
Salvatore Naselli

Sferruzza pastry shop

A square is always the heart of the community life, and this is true in Castelbuono as well. From Piazza Margherita we move then to another iconic square: Piazza Minà Palumbo, affectionately called a piazzetta. Here we find the Sferruzza pastry shop, a place that has developed and perfectioned the production of the most traditional Sicilian pastries for years now: cannoli, cassate, almond and torrone-sweets, cream and chocolate-filled pastries … in short, a wide selection of excellent products, made with love and dedication. A remarkable corner of sweetness and exquisite temptations.

And tradition?

A comprehensive itinerary of a sweetest Castelbuono has to go through some of its most typical desserts: recipes that are passed on from one generation to the next, with a deep respect for their history and a strong will to preserve their authenticity.

Il dolce tipico, la "Testa di Turco" 
© foto: Fornelli di Sicilia

For instance, while visiting Castelbuono, who has never heard of the Testa di Turco (literally Turkish Head)? Despite the slightly gruesome name, this is one of Castelbuono’s top desserts: it’s a typical Carnival dessert and it’s made of layers of fried puff pastry and cream flavoured with lemon and cinnamon. On top, a veil of cinnamon, chocolate chips or mini sugar balls. Few simple ingredients for a recipe that combines tradition and excellent taste (if you with to know more, you can check this article).

And since we’re on the topic of Carnival, another of its typical desserts is the so-called risu ntaanu (rice in the pot), a sort of sweet rice casserole with sugar, cinnamon, saffron and fresh (unsalted) cheese.

Jumping from Carnival to Christmas, we make the acquaintance of many other treats: the cosi chini (literally “stuffed things”) are one of them, very small cakes made of stuffed shortcrust pastry. There are two kinds, based on the filling and the topping: the ones filled with dried figs and covered in white icing and the ones filled with zuccata (a typical Sicilian product mostly made of candied pumpkin) and covered in powdered sugar.

The name of these sweets is typical of Castelbuono and follows a flawless linguistic logic, that of the cosi duci (sweet things), an expression used for sweets in general. Therefore, other than the cosi chini, we have the cosi i Pasqua (“Easter things”), traditional Easter cookies, close in consistency to sponge fingers and decorated with white icing and mini sugar balls, the cosi i mennula (“almond things”, almond-based cookies) and so on. These local delights – and many others – can be found all over town, in cookie bakeries.

What about the rest?

Tumminello bakery

All of this is nothing but a foretaste of what awaits you. There woudl be so much more to talk about, both old and contemporary, so many pastry shops and bakeries (just to mention a couple of names, the Forti and the Tumminello bakery).

Castelbuono has an incredibly wide and varied sweets production, rich and full of typical desserts that brighten the table, fill the stomach and of course the heart of its inhabitants and those lucky visitors who let themselves be tempted.

This itinerary aims therefore at ending with an actual invitation: have a taste of what most tickled your interest and curiosity. Discover all the other surprises that a visit to the sweetest corners of Castelbuono will have in store for you.

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