Ustica's Lentil

Small and tender, since 2000 is included in the Slow Food list



the smallest lentil of Italy

Organic, healthy and rich in beneficial properties, Ustica's lentil is a high quality Sicilian Slow Food produce. It has a particularly intense flavour and taste, while its peculiar tenderness allows it to be cooked in a short time, without needing to soak it.



Ustica's very small lentil, is excellent for its intense taste, its fragrance during cooking and for its softness. Grown since long time ago on the fertile lava soils of Ustica, farmers still grow it according to traditional production practices, without herbicides and without chemical fertilizers, thus respecting environment and nature.

In harmony with the rhythm of the seasons, lentils are sown between December and January by expert hands dropping the seeds in furrows traced by the donkey-driven plow. In March farmers do the weeding by hand; plants are harvested during the first half of June. They are uprooted by hand early in the morning or on full moon nights when the damp pods retain the precious legume; the small plants are then sun-dryed and placed in the farmyard for the "Pistata": a couple of donkeys or cows drag a special stone in order to crush the pods and reduce the plants to straw. The following step is called "Spagliata", this work requires skill: it consists in throwing in the air the hay and legumes with a wooden hay-fork so the wind will separate them; and at last the "Cirnuta" made with a big sieve to clean the lentils from straws and lumps of dirt.

Nowadays, threshers are used to speed up and diminish the effort of the process.

Ustica's broad bean

How to cook it

Ustica's broad bean, has an excellent flavor, is sown in January and harvested in May. The plants are harvested in the final stage of maturation and left to dry in the sun. In June, also the broad bean undergoes the "Pistata" process, in order to release the beans from the pods. You may taste the traditional broad bean “macco” (a creamy soup), or another traditional dish with fresh broad beans called “fave a cappotto”.

Ustica's broad bean

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