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How many memories of my childhood are linked to the village of Cattolica Eraclea!

I lived there as a child and many of my memories are associated with the aromas of home cooking.

I remember the alosa (shad), a fish from the Platani river, that my parents put in a pan to cook and its aroma spread throughout the house and beyond.

What unforgettable moments, an intoxicating scent that if I close my eyes I can still smell.

The Alosa is born in our beautiful rivers to and then immediately afterwards goes out to the sea. Then she returns ‘home’ when she is sexually mature (males 2-9 years, females 4-5).

In the reproductive period, they swim in the fresh water streams that flow into the Mediterranean at Eraclea Minoa.

It is mainly fished during the reproductive ascent of the rivers, the meat is tasty even if with many bones…. the Platani river, once rich, the water was full of them.

Another unforgettable moment was when the cannoli skins were made, that is piece of dough which is then filled.

They took ad hoc rods around which the cannoli pasta was wrapped and … voilà.

Other than now!

There are companies that make skins for all the bars and it is cheaper to do so, but do you want to abandon the old system? That was true gastronomy.

After that the cannoli were filled at that time with fragrant ricotta, like today, the fun was over.

The kid goat meat was of prime quality, the best in the whole province… in fact we have much land used for pasture for goats. Two varieties of meat: the milk-fed one, which is more tender and has a light pink colour, and the grass-fed kid, which has a more intense colour.

This was our Sunday or Easter meal.

Then came the scent of “mignulate“, a sort of sandwich stuffed with sausage, cheese and black olives. They were made with pizza dough and are a key dish of Cattolica cuisine.

This dish was also often prepared with relatives or the neighbourhood and was a means of convivial sharing.

When there was no food industry, everything was homemade, from bread to pasta to desserts and our cuisine in Cattolica offers a beautiful variety of flavours and aromas.

I invite you to try it. Walking through the town you can still smell …