According to legend, Saint Lucy (somehow the Italian Santa Lucia sounds more saintly) brought wheat to the Sicilians. To commemorate this act, cuccia is eaten instead of bread on St Lucy's Day, 13th December. It is a thick soup made with wheat grains or spelt, which can take up to four hours to cook after soaking, broad beans (US: fava beans) and chickpeas (US: garbanzo beans). In Isnello, in Palermo wheat grains are soaked overnight and then simmered until tender. Milk is then heated with cornflour (US: corn starch), lemon zest and chocolate, added to wheat mixture and crystallised citron and served as a sort of porridge on the morning of St Lucy's Day. It may also be soaked and cooked wheat grains with ricotta and crystallised fruits (US: candied fruits) and with vin cotto. Apicius recorded a similar dish under the name of apothermum.



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