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
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!"