December 13 is the feast of Santa Lucia. It is also my mother’s Onomastico or “name day.” We remember the day almost like a birthday and wish her a Buon Onomastico!
According to legend, Santa Lucia was born in Siracusa in Sicily and was martyred for being a Christian. She is the patron saint of people with eye disorders.
In southern Italy, we commemorate the feast with a special dish, Cuccia. Cuccia is made from wheat berries and is only eaten on the Festa of Santa Lucia.
In some regions of Italy, Cuccia is a dessert made with dried fruit and honey. At our house it is a simple preparation of cooked wheat berries and sugar. We always have Cuccia for breakfast on December 13.
1 cup of wheat berries (we bought them in the bulk aisle of the healthy food market)
Water to cover
Soak wheat berries overnight.
Rinse the wheat berries, add 3 cups of fresh water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender. If the water evaporates, add additional boiling water and continue cooking.
To serve, ladle into bowls with a bit of the broth and add sugar or honey to taste.