Things you don’t know about Italy: pastiera
Pastiera napoletana is a type of Neapolitan tart made with cooked wheat, eggs, ricotta cheese, and flavoured with orange flower water.
According to legend, the origin of this tart is attributed to Parthenope, one of the Sirens that tried to seduce with her voice Odysseus, and that lived in the Neapolitan gulf. But probably the pastiera was used during the pagan celebrations of the return of the Springtime. During these celebrations, Ceres’ priestess brought an egg, symbol of new life in procession. Because of the wheat or the einkorn, mixed with the soft ricotta cheese, it could come from the einkorn bread called “confarreatio“, an essential ingredient in the ceremony of the type of ancient Roman weddings named after it “confarreatio“.
Another origin is attributed to the nuns that lived in the convent of San Gregorio Armeno in Naples, that probably adapted the pagan food at Christian Easter tradition.
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