Sutera Virciddratu

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The Sutera virciddratu is a dessert that is typically eaten at Christmas, today it is prepared all year-round.

Its origins date back to ancient times. The etymology of “virciddratu” or “buccellato” in Italian, is derived from the Latin word buccellatum which refers to a doughnut shaped bread which was eaten by the ancient romans during festive occasions. Over time the recipe has been adapted and manipulated by the Arab-Norman cultures.

“Lu virciddratu” of Sutera, is made from poor and genuine ingredients which come from the land, it is a dessert made with a shortcrust pastry that is filled inside. The dough is made using an ancient wheat variety called Maiorca, sugar, pork lard and water; the stuffing, the “nucatu”, is almond based, which are toasted and grinded and honey made from local wild plants, at times spiced with a pinch of cinnamon. For the preparation of this sweet, once it has been left to rest, the dough is flattened on a work bench, which was originally made up of a wooden table placed on top of the seats of two chairs, so that the housewives could exert more strength when working the dough. Thin strips are then made which are filled with the stuffing. They are then closed over on themselves. The strips of stuffed dough are shaped like doughnuts and have around a 4 to 5 centimetre diameter. Once they are shaped, they are then cooked in the oven.

Given the specific shape and its ingredients, this typical recipe is at risk of being influenced and modified and hence lost. The use of refined flours or of inferior quality honey can in fact modify the traditional flavour and quality, leading to obtaining a product that is far from the original recipe which has been handed down by the ancestors of Sutera.

Today, aside from being made by families over Christmas time, the Sutera virciddratu is made by 2 or 3 small producers.

The research activities necessary for the reporting of this product in the Ark of Taste online catalogue were financed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, the General Directorate of the Tertiary Sector and Corporate Social Responsibility – notice n° 1/2018 “Slow Food in action: communities protagonists of change”, pursuant to Article 72 of the Tertiary Sector Code, referred to in Legislative Decree No. 117/2017.

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Production area:Sutera Municipality (Province of Caltanissetta)

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Cakes, pastries and sweets

Nominated by:Fabio Di Francesco