“Si pi San Michele la racina è comu lu mele, pi San Martinu ogni mustu addiventa vinu”.
If on Saint Michael’s day (September 29th) grapes are like honey, on Saint Martin’s day every must becomes wine.
In Sicily Saint Martin’s day closes the endless summer that very often lasts till the first fortnight of November and on that occasion people taste the new wine.
In the chronicle of the Statute of Palermo issued on November 12th 1876 we can find the custom to drink Moscato wine, to eat the typical biscuits and the turkey on the tables of wealthy people.
Martin has been defined the patron of “wine lovers” that crowded the “taverns” of Sicilian towns, especially in Palermo where during formal banquets, beside the turkey, people tasted cooked vegetables like: “vruocculi” (cauliflowers) and boiled eggs.
At the end of the meal, there was “u viscotto i San Martinu abbagnatu nn’o Muscatu” (Saint Martin biscuit dipped in the Moscato wine).
This biscuit was and is prepared also nowadays with flour worked with milk and anise seeds which give to the dough a particular and unmistakable smell.
There are two kinds of these biscuits: one decorated with small sugar flowers and sugared almonds, filled with milk cream or jam, and on other one which is simple, also called “tricotto” because it is cooked three times and is given to children during teething.