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St. Lucy's Day Cuccia (Sicilian Cuccia)

Cuccia is a traditional dessert, served only on St. Lucy's day In Sicilian households. In legend, Saint Lucy brought wheat berries to the Sicilians. The leftovers are a special treat eaten for breakfast the following day. Read about an abundant Sicilian table.

  • 1 pound wheat berries
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate bits
  • 1/2 cup candied citron




Soak wheat berries in water overnight. If you aren't cooking them in the morning, the wheat berries can continue to soak, but change water in the morning.

Drain wheat and place in a wide-bottomed soup pot with water to cover by two inches. Add salt and simmer for three hours or until tender. Add water if necessary. When tender, drain excess water. Set aside, covered.

In a small bowl whisk cornstarch with 1/2 cup milk until cornstarch is dissolved and smooth. Put in a saucepan with remaining milk, lemon zest, and chocolate bits. Cook over low flame, stirring continuously, until milk thickens. Be careful milk does not boil.

Remove from heat and mix with drained wheat. Add citron just before serving.

Serves 12.

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Contributor: Al Viola for Helen Viola

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