The Braciolina Messinese
A history of quality and Sicilian passion
Le Bracioline (stuffed Sicilian meat roulades) are one of the most representative specialty of the Messinese cuisine.
As for the ingredients, there are countless versions of the traditional recipe due to the fact that, for centuries, the extraordinary creativity of people living on the banks of the Strait of Messina have got the upper hand over the limits of a pantry which was sometimes humble.
Since the 15th century up to our days, the Bracioline have been prepared rolling cuts of meat or fish in order to take the form of a tender bundle of meat or fish around “a muddica”, that is to say the delicious core of breadcrumbs with various types of seasoning. The most common cuts of meat are beef, pork, chicken, turkey (which are sometimes even combined onto the same skewer), while the cuts of fish are swordfish, scabbardfish (also known as frostfish or beltfish) or garfish. We will postpone the introduction of another traditional dish of the Messinese cuisine, namely the vegetable rolls.
It is possible to recognise the numerous influences, embraced by the culinary tradition of Messina, in the ingredients and, as a result, in the flavours and scents of the “muddica”.
Enhanced with Sicilian extravirgin olive oil and aged cheeses, the “muddica” always arouses the astonishment of consumers thanks to its combination with several other ingredients in accordance with the traditional recipe, such as olives, capers, pine nuts, raisin, lemon juice, garlic, chopped parsley, black pepper among others.
However, the peculiarity of the Braciolina messinese is mainly the method of preparation: each involtino is wrapped around its filling, taking the shape of a “bundle” and, then, threaded onto a bamboo skewer.
The inhabitants of Messina call these stuffed meat or fish roulades “bracioline” because, according to the tradition, they have to be cooked over a charcoal grill (“brace” in Italian) among bay tree or lemon leaves. These roulades are also known as “spitini” due to the fact that, in the past, people used to keep together each braciolina threading it onto typical double metal skewers, which were a staple tool in all the kitchens of Messina.
“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of Fire” (Gustav Mahler)