The pastry-making is perhaps the best celebrated of all Sicilian specialties, with a range of products able to satisfy the most exigent gourmet. More and better than any other foods, our pastry specialties show the signs of the many dominations that have ruled over this Island throughout the centuries. The pastry-making is considered a realm of fantasy, that gives life to much elaborated and often symbolic shapes.
The Modican Chocolate is one of the best appreciated products of the Sicilian
pastry. It has a rectangular shape, 15cm long, and can be divided into four
smaller bars. It is prepared according to a traditional recipe dating back to
the Aztec ancient civilization and handed down to us by the Spaniards.
Upon entering a traditional "dolceria modicana", you'll smell delicious flavours coming from the genuine ingredients used in the chocolate-making, such as bitter cocoa paste, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa butter.
The basic ingredients are 500gr of sugar semolato, 500gr of bitter cocoa paste,
either a cinnamon or a vanilla roll, and a cocoa butter bar.
The latter is specifically required to amalgamate all ingredients.
In the past this chocolate was prepared using some specific utensils, like the "spianatoio", an half moon shaped tool, made of lava stone, where all ingredients were low-heated and mixed. They were also rolled with a stone rolling pin, whose weight varied according to the different working steps.
Today the chocolate-making uses modern saucepans, but has preserved the traditional pans which are commissioned to the fewest tinsmiths left.
The traditional recipe requires ingredients to be rolled three times in the refining process.
The mixture obtained is placed into rectangular forms that give the chocolate their well-known shape. Before it solidifies the forms are lined up on a large wooden tray that is beaten against a marble table top, serving to expel air bubbles and leave the top side of the bars shiny and smooth. Then chocolate is left to cool down for about 24 hours.