Christmas sweets: the Calabrian mostaccioli
The mostaccioli, made with flour, chestnut honey, and must wine, is a typical sweet of the Calabria region. This tradition is not only culinary but also iconographic and handed down from father to son.
The mostaccioli origin
The origin of these sweets is very ancient: legend said that it was a monk who brought the recipe of mostacciolo from the Serra San Bruno Charterhouse to the Dominican Order of Soriano Calabro.
In fact, in the 3rd century BC, Theocritus talked about the Greek mustacea, or focacce made with honey and flour cooked on bay leaves.
The crafting of mostaccioli
Even today, each mostacciolo is produced strictly by hand by the mostazzolari masters, who give the pasta various shapes before cooking. Artisans decorate mostaccioli by carving with their skilful hands and putting small pieces of aluminium foil of different colours.
The mostaccioli represent small works of art and generally have shapes of fish, bulls, roosters, lambs, palms, hearts, mermaids and ladies.
On Patron Saint Feats holiday, the masters also produce figures of the saints.
Once, Patron Saint Feast was an important celebration. On this occasion, the mostaccioli were given as a reward to children as an edible toy or to friends and relatives as a sign of affection.
Often, the fiancé went to the house of his future bride with a gift of four mostaccioli: one in heart shape, a doll, one in fish shape and one in S shape which is a symbol of femininity.
Still, the mostaccioli are the undeniable protagonists of the Calabrian festivals.
Once purchased, we advise you not to eat them immediately but leave them a couple of days indoors. In this way, the mostaccioli will become softer to the right point and you can enjoy this Calabrian speciality to the fullest!