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Childhood memories of Sicilian / Italian Mostarda

k
ktm Feb 7, 2007 09:27 PM

When I was a kid a friend of my grandparents used to bring over a packet of mostarda every year. It was a jelly like candy made from whatever was left after they had made the wine. I lived in a community of 1st generation Italians & Sicilians so I assume it was a recipe / tradition brought over from "the old country". I have been obsessed with the memory of it for years, but rarely find anyone who knows what I'm talking about. I have thought about trying to make it, but when I did finally find someone who was familiar with it, they dissuaded me with the elaborate preparation required. (A certain kind of grapes, fermenting the fruit, then making the candy) What I'm wondering is if anyone knows where I could get some. The thing is, I may not even like it, I just have to taste it again....

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    CuzinVinny Feb 8, 2007 06:49 AM

    You can actually make a variation of Mostarda di Frutta by following this link:

    http://www.italianmade.com/recipes/re...

    A suggestion: serve it with a bollito misto, for use as a savory condiment to the boiled meats. Mangiare!!!!

    1. Sherri K Jun 13, 2009 07:55 PM

      I remember this very well. It's not the jam type that you can find in jars it much harder and the consistency of a hard jello correct? My grandparents' brothers and sisters use to send them some every year after making wine. It was poured into molds my grandmother told me that was dusted with wood ash. That's why there was a powdery covering. I wish i could get my hands on some right now.

      1. Cheese Boy Jun 13, 2009 09:11 PM

        Traditional Sicilian recipe sans nuts. Some add chopped hazelnuts, etc.

        10-12 lbs of grapes
        4 lbs of sugar (approx 9 cups)
        Cinnamon
        “00” Flour
        Dried orange peel
        Cloves

        Wash and clean the grapes. Discard the stalks, skins, and seeds. Chop the flesh and make it cook for about 4 hours. Add the sugar gradually making it dissolve well. Add the cinnamon, dried orange peel, and cloves [all according to your taste]. Cook for 4 more hours at a medium to high rolling boil. Add a little "00" flour to thicken the mixture making sure that no lumps form. Cook for another hour. Mix with a wooden spoon and ensure that the mixture sticks to the sides of the pot. Put the mixture into the appropriate moistened clay molds and leave out to dry in the sun for about 2 days. {They use a veil to cover theirs}. Then, store in a dry place.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Cheese Boy
          Sherri K Jun 14, 2009 08:31 AM

          Thank You Cheese Boy- But how can we leave it out in the sun for 2 days without bugs and or fungus growing on it? Have you made this? Would love to speak to you about this.
          Thanks,
          Sherri

          1. re: Sherri K
            m
            Meann Jun 14, 2009 08:46 AM

            I've never made this, but the "veil" should keep out the bugs. After drowning it in sugar and boiling it down for 9 hours, the osmotic pressure (ratio of solids to liquid) should inhibit ANYthing growing for quite some time. If you live somewhere humid (like here in Philadelphia) it may not actually dry very much more outside

            1. re: Meann
              Sherri K Jun 14, 2009 02:06 PM

              I'm a little north of Boston so I'm not too sure I can sun dry this. Any suggestions? I have a few very jello molds I might use.Let me know how I should dry this recipe out.
              Thanks Meann

            2. re: Sherri K
              Cheese Boy Jun 14, 2009 09:26 PM

              Sherri -- if humidity is a problem, then use a fan pointed directly at your jello molds, but be sure you keep everything in direct sunlight. The fan will help accelerate and improve the drying process and it will also keep those pesky bugs away. Don't use a veil though if you decide on this method.

              Also, be mindful that the recipes for mostarda are made *usually* during winemaking season *after* the harvest, and bouts with humidity are really not all that common then. So, with that said, it might be best to wait until September or October for better results. The air temperature is different then too yielding a more "chewy" and flavorful result.

              Another link --> http://www.siciliancookingplus.com/de...

              1. re: Cheese Boy
                Sherri K Jun 15, 2009 09:23 AM

                Thanks Cheese Boy- My neighbor has a large area where he has planted some nice grapes maybe I'll wait and harvest some of his in the fall to make this. I wondered if a dehydrator would work since I have one. Let me know what you think.
                Have a nice day,
                Sherri

          2. 1
            1rosie May 8, 2012 04:06 AM

            Just wondering if you ever attempted to make this. I too had it as a child and have been searching to find it. One of my mother cousins visited from Italy and took it over for us. I have been looking to see if I could buy some but no luck. I have grapes in my back yard, so this year I am going to try to make it. Just wondering how it worked out for you.

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