Trip in Sicily to discover the old tradition of manna

Manna SicilyIn Sicily they are called ntaccaluori ( the most famous are in Pollina and Castebuono, in Palermo). They are ash wood carver and keep the secret of woodcut. The fruit of this secret is the “manna”, that it keep repeating every year. The ash tree are selected with great attention during summer when the trees are “in love”.

The difficult of the woodcut is to know if the ash tree is ripe. By slow, wise and accurate gestures the ntaccaluori extract the juice of ash tree, that is violet and bitter. Then, when the juice get in contact with air and sun of Sicily, it solidify becoming white and sweet.

There are more phases for the harvest of manna. At first the small stalactites on the branches, than it removes the bark from log and finally there is the harvest of the manna.

This one is used in many ways. It can eat after meal for a digestive action; it has a laxative effect and it is used for the beauty: lessens wrinkle and makes the skin smooth.

Obviously, the manna is also used in cooking and in pastry-making as a refreshing spice. During your trip in Sicily don’t forget to taste this specialties of the food Italian tradition.

 

Image source: it.wikipedia.org