The foliage of Etna is tinged with the colours of autumn, the red of the woodbine announces the change of the season, while the still prevailing jasmine communicates that mostly sunny days still fill the Etna landscapes, despite everything.
Inside the houses the sunlight is still captured right down to the last sip and these are the most beautiful sunsets that are the envy of the summer ones at the seaside.
The fireplaces begin to crackle in the cool of the evening and a new warm light fills the home hearth.
On the ancient table appear wicker basket filled with the October fruits such as chestnuts and quinces, which together with the grapes and the ancient fruits of Etna grow only on the fertile soil of our volcano.
In a publication published by “Lettera Ventidue” some lovers of the territory wrote that:
“Etna represents a reservoir of agro-biodiversity which, by virtue of the richness of microclimates, types of soil, and orographic conditions, is expressed in a multitude of tree, shrub and herbaceous species.
Each of these is represented by a large number of varieties, some of which are also of a certain economic importance. They are all worthy of being recovered, characterized and protected from the risk of genetic erosion.”
But those who bring with them the family traditions of the territory, recall them according to the seasons with love and constancy, keeping them in their genetic and hereditary heritage, as a great gift.
This is the case of the well-known ancient variety of Spinelli Pears (pira spineddi), an ancient fruit of Etna that is light green in colour and with shades of red, a fruit that is edible only after cooking.
On one of the first cool days at the end of October, we find them on the fruit counter of some local shops at km 0, hanging in clusters with string. They are included in the national list of Traditional Agri-food Products (P.A.T.).
Spinelli Pears are rich in Boron and Calcium and are composed of carbohydrates and sugars with a good fibre content. Among the vitamins there are B1, B2, B3 and C and among the minerals sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus.
After washing them, they are cooked with a pinch of coarse salt, pieces of cinnamon stick and cloves either in a pan of water or in the oven.
In the east of Sicily they are used in the preparation of some typical dishes such as sweet and sour rabbit and Messina style stocco.
And here what excites most is the scent that spreads throughout the house, with the prevailing aromas of cinnamon and cloves that really announce the arrival of the first cold and the approach of Etna winter.