The goodness and genuineness of Sicilian lemons and extra virgin olive oil come together to give life to biscuits: the Zigarì . This is how these biscuits bring Sicilian flavors and aromas to the table.

Lemons and extra virgin olive oil are just two of the products that this land gives us. Products that contain not only the unmistakable taste, but also many beneficial properties.

The lemon is a real gift of nature, since ancient times it was considered a sort of “panacea for all ills”. It is an indispensable and irreplaceable fruit for its countless beneficial and healing effects: it protects the immune system, aids digestion, reduces cholesterol levels, counteracts arteriosclerosis are just some of the benefits of this fruit.

Furthermore, the caloric content of lemons is very low, while it is very rich in citric acid, malic acid, essential oils, oligominarali with an abundance of potassium, vitamins A, B and C. The lemon in the kitchen is widely used, both in the form of juice, both as a condiment and enriches many dishes. Its very aromatic peel is often included in the ingredients to prepare and flavor desserts.

Not least is the extra virgin olive oil. Food known and esteemed in every part of the world, extra virgin olive oil fully expresses the essence of the Mediterranean diet.

The oil, which derives from the cold pressing of the olives, a factor that guarantees that all its nutritional components are preserved for a long time, is recognized for its innumerable virtues. Thanks to its properties, extra virgin olive oil is an excellent ally against numerous attacks on our body, it increases, for example, good cholesterol and lowers the harmful one. It is rich in antioxidants and substances with anti-inflammatory properties and promotes digestion.

Properties that the Biscottificio Tumminello has decided to incorporate in a biscuit, the Zigarì , to make them suitable at any time of the day. Perfectly adaptable to ice cream, granita for a snack or as an alternative way to have breakfast on hot summer days.

With a delicate taste, Zigarì are not simple lemon biscuits, but they will delight your palate in a unique way.

Tumminello biscuits are born from the love for a tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation. Ancient recipes and simple ingredients that restore genuine flavors.

Even the period of the Easter holidays is for us at Biscottificio Tumminello a very important moment to recover some peculiar traditions of our territory.

In Castelbuono , a town nestled on the Madonie where our company is located, it is customary to prepare very special sweets for Easter: C osi i Pasqua .
Also this year, as per tradition, we wanted to prepare these delicious specialties. It is a long and laborious preparation, recreated on the basis of ancient recipes that are kept in every family and handed down.
These ancient biscuits come in various forms that recall the Easter theme. You can find cookies in the shape of little lambs, bells, hearts, pupae and much more. The various shapes are not recreated by molds or molds, but are made entirely by hand. Even their shape, therefore, is the result of the skill and mastery of those who prepare them.

Finally, the Cosi i Pasqua are decorated with sugar icing, the diavulicchi , or colored sugars, and the cannittigli , sugars with pieces of cinnamon inside.
Tradition has it that they are eaten already during breakfast on Easter Sunday, after fasting on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

Given their particular shape and their beauty, they are often an original gift to give to friends and relatives: a gift that tells of Sicily and its millenary traditions and that we, year after year, continue to propose to keep alive a bond with the history of our territory that allows us to offer simply genuine flavors.

Here is a photo gallery of the preparation of these delicious biscuits in our laboratory.

In Castelbuono , in the heart of the Madonie Park, the training day on Sicilian durum wheat was held on Sunday 19 June 2016 with a theoretical-practical bread-making laboratory.

During the meeting it was possible to observe and learn the correct bread preparation techniques at the Tumminello bakery – biscuit factory , but also to discuss the benefits of these flours, nutrition and the advantages of the short supply chain.

Working the ancient Sicilian flours requires an equally ancient knowledge because, being relatively poor in gluten, the processing and cooking differ at least partially from the usual practices.

Specifically, during the workshop the secrets of the Nero delle Madonie or black Madonita wheat were revealed, a trademark registered by the Madreterra cooperative, which is produced exclusively in Gangi by the young farmer Giuseppe Dongarrà and milled by Molini Riggi.

The ancient Sicilian grains , very ancient and unmodified, are generally poor in gluten, a characteristic that should not be underestimated for those who experience gluten sensitivity problems.

More and more small and medium-sized companies aware of the problem have chosen to review their products. These include our biscuit factory, which has long been sensitive to this widespread food problem and which has rediscovered the ancient grains of Sicily such as timilia, also known as tumminia, and majorca, creating a whole line of biscuits prepared with flour obtained from them .

Generally, these are varieties that have been revalued relatively recently and therefore still escape large-scale production. On the one hand, this makes it less easy to find them, but on the other hand it favors the development of a short supply chain that allows not only to save and guarantee a fairer price to producers, but also to be more aware of the origin of what you buy. A deeply felt theme which, in fact, was addressed during the day.

In the afternoon, the conference introduced by Annalisa Sferruzza was dedicated to several fundamental topics:

  • flours and the Mediterranean tradition
  • the quality and the Sicilian tradition of bread preparation especially in reference to the Nero delle Madonie wheat
  • the importance of the short chain illustrated through the experimental micro-chain project developed by the Association for the Promotion of the “Ancient Grains of Hymera and Halycos”.

Key themes that enriched and animated the meeting that saw the speakers Annamaria Cangelosi (Castelbuono Scienza association), Marina Castiglione, Alfio Spina, Pasquale Tornatore and the students of ISIS G. Salerno of Gangi (PA).

Sicily is a rich land that for millennia has distinguished itself for the fertility of the soil, for the generosity of the sun that warms it and fills it with light and for the wide valleys suitable for hosting large expanses of golden wheat.

Until 1927 there were 52 indigenous varieties of wheat on the island which over time, however, left room for seeds with a better yield per hectare that allowed more abundant productions at lower prices.

Although set aside for a long time, these ancient grains have never been completely abandoned and in recent years the cultivation has started to grow again in almost all the Sicilian provinces.

Given the precious characteristics of these historic wheat originating in Sicily, including the timilia (or tumminia) and majorca (or mjorca) varieties, they are grown and processed organically, keeping all the nutritional and organoleptic characteristics intact.

In addition to the absence of GMOs, these grains are also stone ground. This allows to preserve the germ of the grains, the vitamins, the mineral salts and the proteins that make the product not only healthier, but also more digestible.

Timilia durum wheat, formerly widespread also in Portugal, Spain, France and North Africa, has a short cycle and is sown at the beginning of the year, generally in March and reaches full ripeness in summer. It resists drought very well, is rich in trace elements, low in gluten and high in protein. Thanks to its qualities it is also very suitable for the preparation of bread with the addition of a little water.

Among the ancient soft grains, one of the most popular is Mallorca , a quadrangular spike that reaches 180cm in height, suitable for arid soils and characterized by rapid ripening.
Its flour, soft and impalpable, is particularly suitable for the preparation of desserts, but also of white breads, bread sticks and above all biscuits; moreover it is often used in the making of royal pasta and, according to some researchers, it would have been the basis of the first recipes of the Sicilian cannoli rind.

This grain also has a low gluten content (about 50% less than modern grains) and is rich in protein, so it is very digestible and nutritious.