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Pignolata Messinese - Recipe and Historical Notes

Pignolata Messinese - Recipe and Historical Notes

After the summer break, the fussy Messina, one of the fussy most appreciated. Here are some interesting curiosities!

A bit of history.

It's a typical sweet of the Sicilian tradition and was included in the Sicilian list of traditional Italian food products of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

Its name derives from the particular pinecone shape and its origins date back to a few centuries ago. It is a typical Christmas and Carnival recipe, but given the wide spread and demand now in the city of the Strait, it is prepared all year round.


Originally it was made with poor ingredients of the peasant tradition such as eggs, flour and lard. Usually this fried sweet pastry was covered with honey. When the Spaniards took over from the Aragonese in the dominion of Sicily, in 1516, they greatly appreciated the pignolata but the nobles considered it a sweet for the poor so they asked the Messina confectioners to replace the honey with a chocolate and lemon glaze.

What does it look like?

These are pieces of lemon dough baked in the oven or fried and covered with a double glaze: white and chocolate. The pieces of cooked dough, called pinecones, are arranged to form a mound directly on the serving plate, creating a rectangular shape.

Try it asap!