The legend of the "PASTIERA"

 

The legend narrates that Partenope the mermaid lived in the gulf which stretched from Posillipo to the Vesuvio enchanted by its beauty. Every Spring si would emerge from the water to greet all the happy people who lived there, and brighten their days intonating love call.

One day her voice was so melodious so pleasant that all the people were fascinated and rapt: they all ran towards the sea, moved by the sweetness of the song and the words of love the mermaid had dedicated to them. To thank her they decided to give her the most precious gifts they had.

Seven of the most beautiful maidens were picked to bring Partenope the gifts: flour, strenght and richness of the land; wheat boiled with milk, symbol of the two reigns; ricotta cheese, a present of the shephards and sheep; eggs, symbol of a new life; water with orange flower fragrance; spices, which represented people who lived far away in other continents; sugar, which best gave the idea of the sweetness of Partenope’s call profused in the sky, on Earth and in the universe.

The mermaid was happy of these gifts and decided to bring them to the gods and goddess who lived in the sea. They were all carried away by these gifts, and decided to mix them all together with heavenly art. the result was the first Pastiera which exceeded the sweetness of the Mermaid’s call.

The legend has it that Queen Mariateresa d’Austria, wife of Ferdinando II of Borbone, had a nickname "the queen who never smiled". One day her husband, who was outgoing and loved eating, convinced her to try a new recipe. As soon as she tried her first piece of pastiera she counldn’t resist smiling, and at this piont her husband shouted: "I’ll have to wait next Easter to see my wife smilig again!"

 
 

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