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Sagra del Pesce Spada in Acitrezza

September 2, 2014

 

 

 

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La Sagra del Pesce Spada, Swordfish Festival, takes place each summer in the town of Acitrezza.  Acitrezza is located about fourteen kilometers north of the city of Catania on the eastern coast of Sicily.  There are nine towns in the municipality of Catania that have names that start with ACI; this is due to the river Aci that flows in the area.  One of the legends of this area, dating back to the time of the Greeks, states that  the river Aci got its name from the shepherd, Aci.  Aci was in love with Galatea, a local nymph, but unfortunately for him, the giant Polyphemus was also in love with Aci.  Consequently, in a moment of anger, after seeing the two lovers together, Polyphemus threw a rock at Aci and killed him.  As Galatea poured so many tears over Aci’s corpse, the Gods decided to turn Aci into a river and its waters still flow in this area today.

 

 

 

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The swordfish festival this year was quite enjoyable on a pleasant summer night.  Close to the harbor,  some grills were set up and the fish was cooked right there.  This Swordfish was seasoned with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice and served with a salad and a glass of wine..

 

 

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Besides the swordfish,  there were also “crispelle” as seen in the picture below.  These are fried stuffed dumplings which are stuffed with either ricotta cheese or anchovies. To distinguish one kind from the other, the ricotta ones are round and the anchovy ones are elongated.

 

 

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To top it all off, Crispelle di Riso, rice sticks deep fried and covered in powdered sugar.

 

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